Plan, Prepare and Persevere

by Viki Forrest, CEO ANZA Technology Network

Last week I got another phone call from an Australian entrepreneur with a great technology who was back in Australia after 3 weeks in Silicon Valley. He told me that he came to the Valley to get initial feedback on his idea and that he had come up empty. He had been told “you have to be here” to get the meetings. He came, but no meetings.

What went wrong? What did I recommend he do?

Plan, Prepare and Persevere

Plan--to use your personal network to get introductions. Remember, there may be 3 or 4 degrees of separation to your target meetings so recognize that it will take time. Build relationships. Always look for ways to assist the people you are introduced to. Business is a two-way street. Time your US trips to coincide with events and conferences that provide wide exposure to your target market.

Prepare–to deliver on every dimension; your written executive summary (one page), your ability to succinctly answer the question “what do you do?” in a way that invites conversation, and your compelling elevator pitch that opens the door to a more formal meeting. Don’t forget the basics. Is your website “US ready”? Do you know your main competition in the US? What’s your unfair competitive advantage?

Persevere–the US is a large and complex market which takes time to learn and navigate. Approach it strategically and persevere. You’ll need much more than 3 weeks to make significant inroads on your path to success in the US.

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