A Guide to Analyst Briefings

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Brian Sommer just published a great piece on your analyst firm pitch over on Software and Services Safari that is a must read for anyone who wants to pitch analysts … or certain bloggers … who are short on time (and short on patience when it comes to bad pitches).

He offers four pieces of advice that you should take to heart.

  1. Build an Issue-Based Deck.
    Put the background information in a separate document. A good analyst doesn’t care about your glorious leader, your grand vision, or your office locations. They want to know what you have that their readers will be interested in. That’s it.
  2. Focus on the Issues
    What challenges do you solve, how are you unique, and where are you going.
  3. Offer Some Insight
    Challenge assumptions. Include some non-obvious, a-ha realizations. Keep your deck, which only exists to frame the problem and solution, under an absolute maximum of 10 slides.
  4. Get to the Demo ASAP
    The proof of the pudding is the eating. And, if you happen to be dealing with the doctor, that’s all I care about. I loathe PowerPoints. Any more than 1 to 2 slides to frame the problem, 1 to 2 slides to frame the solution, and 1 to 2 slides on some unique capabilities, challenged assumptions, or a-ha realizations, and my mind is off thinking about real innovation.

When you get a chance to brief an analyst (or blogger), remember that this isn’t an opportunity to drone on and on about yourself. You need to cultivate the image that you and your firm are special, thoughtful and strategic. The analyst (or blogger) needs to learn something from this exchange. If the only thing they learn is the names of your executives and the solutions you sell, I’ll guarantee that the analyst (or blogger) won’t write a report about you or, worse, will write a negative one. Analysts (and bloggers) write about things that impress them. Give them something to write about!

I could not have said it better myself.