Over the past couple of weeks I’ve helped run a few in-house analysts relations workshops for clients (along with Efrem Mallach and ex-Ovum analyst Alban Thurston) all of which have touched on how spokespeople can develop more influential and insightful relationships with analysts. Taking an Appreciative Inquiry approach, at most of the workshops we had the chance to ask spokespeople what they felt what characterised their best, and worst, relationships with analysts. The results are worth sharing.
- Asking for the analysts’ opinion and advice
- Being more open
- Being simpler: Short sentences, clearer speech
- Being surprising
- Challenging hype topics
- Establishing ‘intimacy’
- Extra, ‘exclusive’ information
- Finding examples and metaphors
- Having a clear message to share
- Having an opinion
- Jokes that help explain our message
- Opening the discussion with a good story or picture
- Presentations with pictures rather than words
- Sharing our enthusiasm
- Sharing good examples from customers
- Show if feedback from earlier meetings has been acted upon
- Stay with them at the bar fro as long as possible
- Treat analysts’ feedback as useful feedback
- Arguing the details to the death
- Talking about a product, and not explaining the need or the value
- Non-stop monologues
- Not listening
- Not maintaining eye contact with the analyst
- Not proving our messages with customer needs and references
- Sharing truly confidential information
- Talking rubbish
- Too many PowerPoint slides, and too cluttered
- Quoting IDC numbers to Gartner, or vice-versa
These conclusions were much more powerful for the attendees (and more more readily accepted) because they had been created by the participants themselves, while working in small groups. This more intensive training format worked because we had more than one experienced AR consultant in the room, and each group was able to use them differently.
If you’d like to know more about training workshops for spokespeople can be made more effective, get in touch.
As an ex-analyst myself I know that analyst briefings can be wasted, or have low impact, if they do not connect with the analysts work plan or aspirations at the time the briefing is given.
Analyst’s production targets are going up, not down. Analysts also need personal differentiation. They will welcome help them with both.