Guidelines for Mentors
- The focus of the evening is to educate entrepreneurs in small to medium size businesses who are seeking to secure sales with an Enterprise or Government client about what it takes to achieve that goal.
- The companies speaking to you should not be trying to secure a sale, moreover, to understand what they need to do before they approach an enterprise customer and what to expect should discussions progress.
- Be clear that you are not providing professional / commercial advice nor are you creating an expectation of a relationship between the company talking to you and your own company.
- The companies who will be speaking with you should either be ready OR will be ready in 12-18 months to sales ready. (They might well discover during the course of conversation with you that this is not the case).
- Should you discover that there is something of immediate interest to you that you might want to take further, we would suggest that you continue a general conversation and set up a follow up meeting outside of the event.
- If you feel that a company is overstepping the mark feel free to warn them that what they’re doing is outside the spirit of the event and if they continue to persist feel free to invite them to leave the mentoring session early.
- If you believe that a company is about to disclose commercially sensitive information that might compromise or resulting in tainting please alert the company that they are not under NDA and that anything that they disclose to you should be considered to be in the public domain.
- Each person / company will have a total of 20 minutes to talk with you, please be firm in keeping to time limits and do not let people run over.
- While the companies you will be speaking with might never be customers with your company directly they will also talk with others who might. Help the ecosystem better understand how to approach you so that they don’t waste their time nor yours.
Use this as an opportunity to understand the challenges small companies are facing and how to better position your business to partner with them. For example 2 things that make things these partnerships hard are unbounded liabilities (suing a small company will kill it so it won’t sign a deal) and long payment terms (small companies don’t have deep balance sheets and can’t support large account receivables balances, they survive on short term cashflow).
- Finally, have fun!