Today, of all days , I spend some time in a sub par hotel in the deep south of the Netherlands. Nothing cool about that I hear you thinking, but if I tell you that this place has a 750 seat capacity, the next bit will sound like winning the lottery. I walk in, pick a good seat close to the wireless access point. When I wanted to start with my first course two people sat down next to me and started to discuss next year’s budget. Nothing cool about that either you might say, and I was just enjoying my meal at first. Then it became clear that they were responsible for a tech company, just over the border in Belgium. They were discussing marketing and then, you’ve guessed it, the magic words came out – “Analyst Relations”.
Now we are talking!
The second course came and I was still listening to “what should we do next year about and with Analyst Relations?” Now I am not really the type of guy that just hops on board and start taking over a conversation that is not even for my ears to hear, but then the following happened. “Look Patrick, we have some options here. We can talk to Forrester or Gartner or we can look into companies that can help us for introductions and guidance”. What else do you need to hear. And then the usual overestimating began. “What should we reserve for this?” “Well, I only see big companies doing business with Gartner and Forrester. They probably charge by the hour or you buy a retainer. We need to look smart to them otherwise we pay top dollar”.
I decided to skip the final stage of my lunch to be able to make my move quickly when the opportunity would arise. I noticed that Patrick opened his Macbook Pro to learn some stuff about research firms and his colleague picked up the phone to take care of some other, non related, issues at hand. I got up and walked towards Patrick and asked him If I could get a minute of his time. He had no problems with that at all and was just as surprised as I had been when they started talking about Analyst Relations.
How cool is that! You go somewhere for a funeral and end up with a great sales call. Some things are just meant to happen I guess. There is one last thing that I need to do today, and that is buying that lottery ticket for next week.
Enjoy the weekend.