Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Online Business Success

Five Strategies To Land A Deal Before You Launch

Anne Solhaug Tutar is a Partner at Antler, a global early stage investment firm, and former founder of health food startup Future Foods.

In January 2016, I walked through the doors of the Istanbul head office of one of the world’s largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies. I was invited to present my products as they were revamping the offerings in their cafeteria. I was on the brink of launching my startup, which produced healthy, good-for-you snacks and energy bars. I was 27 years old, had no previous founder experience, had never worked in the food industry, was launched in a foreign market and had no team or financing. In short, the odds of success were stacked against me.

Regardless, I entered with the courage and ambition only a 20-something can have and was able to turn an otherwise trivial meeting into an opportunity of a lifetime. The meeting sparked the rollout of my products with some of the largest brands in the world, as well as an international expansion.

Since then, I’ve been asked time and time again how I—with my small and unlaunched startup—landed a deal with one of the most powerful FMCG companies on the planet. The lessons I learned from that experience can be useful to anyone building a company.

As a startup founder, always look for opportunities to level up. Often it will take less effort and work to expand a current deal than to land a new one. I learned to cultivate a mindset of asking for more. When preparing for a meeting, I would always detail the base case and the best case with any stakeholder, and I would proactively work to nudge a meeting or agreement toward the best case. This brings me to my next point.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

2. Always come prepared (aka, manage your stakeholders). If it’s worth doing, do it well. I spent the days and nights before my first meeting in deep preparations. I read up on the company and its competitors’ annual reports. I knew that healthier, sugar-free and natural products were on their agenda, and I knew that I had something they did not: credibility in serving healthy products.

I read up on all the people I knew would be in the meeting and knew they were in my prime target group. I was up until 2 a.m. the night before making samples so the whole team could try my products. And I did not just make a few—I made enough for about a week of snacking. This strategy proved useful as they called me back once that week had passed asking for more products.

Getting the buy-in of influencers and people at the right level of the organization will greatly improve your chances of success. You’ll have an internal team championing you, and if you can identify stakeholders who have something to gain personally from the project’s success, you’re even closer to your end goal.

3. Use data. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming or guessing. One of the most useful strategies to build stakeholder conviction is using facts and data, focusing on what is relevant to them. Bring trends and market analysis, growth numbers and statistics. You’ll come across as more knowledgeable, trustworthy, and skilled in your field. In addition, if you always save and internalize relevant data, it can be helpful to use later in a range of situations.

4. Get personal. While data is great, it’s even better when it’s combined with authentic stories. I’ve never been a good salesperson, but when it came to selling my own brand, it was easy. I let my genuine passion for better-for-you food shine through and was never afraid to share my personal story of why I launched my company. I walked them through my background, why I decided to launch my startup, how I risked everything to build my company and how I monitored my blood sugar level when testing recipes to make sure I made something truly healthy. Sharing what it meant to me personally helped me build a deeper, more meaningful connection with my audience. Frequently people became so dedicated to my story they wanted to help, even for free. Any help while launching a company or product is hugely needed, so building emotional connections turned out to be a useful strategy, which also helped me land contracts with everything from logistics to production.

5. Sell first; build after. I’m not the inventor of this phrase, but it sure does work. At the time of my Istanbul meeting, I brought homemade samples and had not yet landed on the right factory to work with. The design of my products was not even done. My experience is that working toward a very clear deadline greatly improves the momentum of your business. We apply this strategy at my current company when working with founders. You have to be willing to put in the extra hours and effort, but doing so can accelerate any company-building journey.

These steps can transform an everyday meeting into something transformational for your startup. What first seems impossible becomes entirely possible—and in a much shorter time frame than you imagined.

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?


Source link

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply



More details have emerged in the case of a California dermatologist who allegedly poisoned her husband by surreptitiously pouring Drano into his lemonade.  Jack...


Placeholder while article actions load SEOUL — As rainwater gushed into Yoon Jin-hyeok’s semi-underground apartment on Monday, the night of South Korea’s historic downpour,...


OXFORD, Ga. — Walton County sheriff’s detectives on Monday were continuing to investigate a case in which two Oxford residents were charged with engaging...

Online Business Success

A representational image of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo. — Reuters/File The letter is now to be jointly signed by finance minister and...

Loan And Finance

From left, Firefighters Sergio Porras, Jerome Alton and Natasha Rodocker mop up hot spots while battling the Oak Fire in the Jerseydale community of Mariposa County,...

Social Media

Google’s looking to add more context to its Search results, in order to mitigate the spread of misinformation, by adding improved contextual data matching...


You May Also Like


Introductions get a lot of attention. I’ve explored the topic of how to write them even though as a reader, I always skip them....

Online Business Success

The internet is now our nervous system. We are constantly streaming and buying and watching and liking, our brains locked into the global information...

SEO Guide

There are all kinds of pictures of the world on the internet, but to find one of these specific pictures that you want to...

Online Business Success

You can think of link building in many ways. I like to call it tedious, painful, and a test of patience. It’s also necessary...