There comes a point in time where your business grows to a recognizable brand with technical assets and goodwill. You’re able to get valid press and partner with larger, more established brands.
Here are a few pointers to remember when you’re cutting those first deals with larger companies:
- Get a mutual non-disclosure. This protects both parties. Enough said.
- "What’s in it for them?" As the little guy, you’ll probably get quite a lift by structuring a deal with a large company. New links, good press, etc. So, you know what’s in it for you. But when you’re pitching the deal, always think about the other company. What benefit are you bringing to the table that they simply do not have, or would be to costly to build/buy. Show how these assets can make their site/company a better product.
- Find an internal champion. You will need someone on the inside who can help sell the deal long after you’re back in your office. Build trust with this person and always deliver on what you say. They are risking more than the deal. Many times, there’s political ramifications in big companies for deals going sour, so do everything you can to protect their image and reputation.
- Stay humble – yet be confident. This goes back to doing what you say you will do. While there’s no need to understate your abilities, most good business development people can smell a bullshitter a mile away. Be confident in yourself and your company, but don’t paint yourself into a corner that you cannot get out of.
- Not every deal is a good one. Sometimes, the best deals are the ones you don’t do. Make sure that you have the resources to deliver your end of the deal, and make sure you get what you need out of the deal as well. Remember, the next deal is right around the corner, and if you get in bed with a bad partner, you won’t have the resources necessary to partner with your dream deal.