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7 Basics for Games Business Development

Image Courtesy of Fireflyseo.com

This months contribution comes from a biz dev professional who has worked both on the agency, developer and publishing side of the industry:

1) The most critical thing for me is that you need to understand who you are talking to. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people wasting my time trying to sell me something that’s totally irrelevant to my business and being really pushy about it at the same time. For example I was at a MMORPG company and someone was trying to sell me advertising in baseball stadiums for 175,000 USD spouting off how many million eyeballs they have. My point to him being, only 0.1% of those millions (if I am lucky) may be relevant to me. So do research on the company you’re approaching, understand what they do and be sure that what you offer is a really good fit for them. Demonstrate your understanding when you email them or when you speak to them on the phone. Get a good grip on their product line-up and understand what markets they operate in and how they monetize.

2) It’s better to reach out to 5 companies with the above approach vs spamming 50 with a generic cut and pasted letter that doesn’t speak directly to their needs.

3) Understand who the decision maker is, before you go to deep into any discussions try and understand the hierarchy of the business and who the relevant person is to pitch to, as well as the ultimate decision maker. Sometimes the person you’re talking to is the right contact but doesn’t have the authority to sign off. However you could create a internal win for them, making his or her life easier if they bring a great new technology to the table that helps the business. Understand from them what they need from you to get things pushed through internally. Enable them to become an internal advocate for your business.

4) If you can create mock-ups or examples of the companies logo or games integrated with your system, sometimes visualizing something goes a long way to explain what it is you can offer. It can be as simple as including a screenshot of their product within your UI when you’re presenting to them.

5) LinkedIN is great tool for reaching out to potential partners, if you don’t already be sure to use it to build your contact base and research companies you might want to work with. Keep your links on your profile up to date and join groups that deal with your business genre.

6) In your first contact be direct but not pushy. Time is valuable to everyone these days and not everyone wants to commit to lunch or dinner, or even an hour phone call over something they know nothing about. Ask for a 10mins or 15mins window to give a brief intro on what you’re all about. If you’re less demanding in what you’re pushing for you’re more likely to get a response. Provide documentation or emails that can shared easily internally, don’t send 10mb 55 slide powerpoint decks. The easier you make it to share, the more likely it will get shared.

7) Check out conferences that may be relevant for your business, go through the attendee list, most conference websites list this publicly. Find out who’s going and work on setting up meetings in advance. Failing that you can try go around to the booths and see if you can grab 5mins with the relevant person. Although it does really help if you know who you should be talking to in advance. Some companies are more receptive to walk-ups than others.

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