How Founders Can Spot Opportunities and Engage in Online Communities Like GreatestFounders™


Sometimes we publicly admit to ourselves and others we are only attending a particular event to drum up sales. Sometimes we cleverly navigate online communities and LinkedIn groups not because of what the group stands for but whether you hope you can catch some awesome fishes. We are willing to spend hours posting, sharing, and private messaging so that we can attract the fishes that leads to rewarding opportunities.

Since we are gradually rolling out Founders Under 40 Group private community via GreatestFounders.com, we know that’s part of people’s motivation for participating in any community. So we decided since you are going to message and connect with all kinds of members for different reason, we are going to share some tips on how to spot those likely to need your services or products.

Everything in life to my knowledge has some form of trigger. A mechanism that executes a program or event. A food item like a banana has a mechanism for decay. The creation and birth of a child has a mechanism. The earth has a mechanism for bringing things down called gravity. So when it comes to business opportunity or personal opportunities there’s also mechanism that are constant which are what you want to pay attention to in this game of life & business.

In the sales and business world it is called triggers. A sales trigger a.k.a opportunity trigger is an event that occurs due to a business circumstance.

When a restaurant business sees a sudden increase in foot traffic in their store that means that they are likely going to need more of everything or better of something.

And you usually uncover this information in many ways. Either from public sources or private sources. From direct or indirect sources. Even simply by observation. There are news, blogs, social media, former employees, current employees, interns, board members, recruiters, press release, competitors, leaks, etc. . .that will basically tell you when to approach prospects, what kind of challenges they may have or could have, what are their strategies, how do they buy, what are their standards or many other things. But keeping in mind that every business is constantly playing a game of what they are willing to be transparent about and what they have to keep close to their chest due to intensity of competition.

And one challenge is the fact that all this information can be overwhelming even if you have a data miner, software, artificial intelligence, or thousands of work force because a simple one page press release on let say Apple’s website could turn into a giant world of info from analyst, forecasters, futurist, fake news, bloggers, youtubbers, celebrities, rumor spreaders, news organizations, satirist, comedians, fans, haters, etc. Which then makes it challenging to decipher the truth from the lies.

I could even say GreatestFounders + Founders Under 40 Group intends to one day own all the Forbes media properties. And some people would take that as a joke, seriously, or couldn’t care what we do or become. Either way, the point is, It does require a list of tools which I’m not going to list here today to attract key information from all the chaos but will list signs for when founders might want to engage other founders or decision makers on greatestfounders.com or any other community platform.

Growth or downsizing.

  • Key hires or interesting association.
  • Technology changes / tools changes.
  • Logistics and supply changes

Service providers changes.

  • Government or labor union partnerships changes.
  • Marketing or advertisement theme changes
  • Awards or recognition changes.

Leadership changes.

  • Market changes.
  • Legal changes.
  • Personnel changes
  • Attitude changes
  • Leadership behavior or philosophy changes



Legislation or regulatory changes

  • There’s always new and updated regulations
  • Urgent requirement to comply
  • Penalties and fees paid out
  • Reputational issues such as buyers confidence is down
  • Harm
  • Class law suite
  • Accusations
  • Sexual harassment or inequality or discrimination

Financial changes.

  • Are they making cuts to their workforce
  • Are they making more money
  • Are they implementing cost saving initiatives
  • Have they gotten venture capital money
  • Did they just hire a CFO
  • Are they preparing to IPO or M&A
  • Are their accounting or booking methods questionable
  • Did they mysteriously start purchasing goods and services that they normally wouldn’t
  • It comes down to: reverse a down in revenue, cut cost, make more money, grow, experiment, improve efficiency and effectiveless, or splurging

Strategic changes.

  • Change in focus and direction also know as pivot
  • New strategies sometimes means a need to create awareness, upsell, cross sell, bundle, loss leader, new targets, new problems, new approach, etc
  • Sometimes their tactics and strategies are clear and sometimes it’s top secret.
  • There are usually strategic hints if you know where and how to look for them. If you can trully be a partner to them through out their evolution, your business will be rewarded.
  • The type of strategic partners they align themselves to.

They take it offline or seriously.

  • They ask to grab coffee / tea / drinks
  • They ask for a proposal
  • They no longer ignore your Linkedin messages
  • They trust you or do not trust you.
  • They like your sales people however can’t stand your company
  • They believe you provide more value than cost
  • They can’t stand being sold to
  • They are inquiring about your services
  • They are pumping you for information
  • They are not ready to buy
  • It’s not a major need
  • They have other obligations
  • They need approval
  • They think you’re just another one of them
  • They don’t think you’re serious or be around in a year
  • They don’t think you’re providing relevant information for them to make a good decision
  • They have not built a bond with you

FINAL WORDS

You really can save yourself and your company a lot of time and money if you engage companies / people/ founders at the right time. However the nature of the game of most decision makers is trying not to get it wrong.

There is no founder or ceo who thinks he/she will randomly purchase key services without doing some homework. And anyone who is playing the long-term game needs to realize trust, delivery, consistency, and dependability is still crucial.

Build relationships by taking genuine interest, find out what’s important, and what problems do they face.

if you’re not in the commodity business, forget transaction relationships

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