The data that your team collects from your local companies via 1:1 meetings or via surveys should be designed to help you to identify trends, opportunities, and risks for each company. That sounds selfish because it is.
So let’s modify that a bit.
The true focus of your BRE meeting is quite simple and it’s not selfish at all. Be Helpful. Your BRE strategy should adopt the theme of being helpful to your local companies.
Have you made a list of all of the ways in which your team can help a local company? If not – stop reading this and do this now.
Now that you have your Here’s How We Help List… you can ask this Most Important Question
What areas of assistance would you like to discuss?
When you ask for factual data – know that the executive sharing this information with you does not benefit or gain anything from this exercise unless you provide them with context and a reason why you’re asking. If you open a meeting by asking these basic, boring questions, you’re losing points and attention quickly.
Recommendation. I recommend asking for basic, factual information via a simple website form before the meeting. This way, you’re not wasting valuable time. The executive can easily share the link to your form with another team member that can provide the basic info to you.
Note: The website form should be well designed and the data should then flow into your CRM – BRE database seamlessly. Better still – put this form on a BRE website landing page.
Set the Stage
You’ll set the stage for the purpose of the meeting a few ways.
- Website or Landing Page explaining the purpose and value of your local, BRE Program. Communicate the value to the company and explain how they benefit from participating.
- Emails – clearly communicate this in your meeting requests and meeting agendas.
- Phone Script – when asking for a meeting. Explain the purpose of your call and the value of your request to meet. As one of the key employers in the area, our team is asking for the opportunity to meet with you so that we might identify opportunities to contribute to your business. We’ve helped other companies with (a, b, c,).
- Meeting Invite – personalize with agenda as shown below.
Tip: use Grammarly to make sure your “tone” is “on track”.
Tip: ReSet the Stage In the Meeting
- Tell the executive what info you’d like to have and why / what you will do with this data. Share a story, give an example of how this data helped another company like them.
- “I’d like to get some basic info from you about your company’s sales, number of employees, etc. With this data, we’re oftentimes able to share relevant info with you about grants, loans, incentives and training programs”. For example – when __________, Inc. shared with us that they employed over 100 people and wanted to hire more skilled workers, we were able to ______________________, which resulted in ____________________
BRE DATA POINTS
Our system (HubSpot for Economic Developers) includes over 50 data points for BRE surveys. You can easily add, modify or delete these data points as you see fit.
Additional data points can be found here – https://extension.umn.edu/retaining-community-businesses/question-bank
*if you’d like to receive these questions in an excel document – we’re happy to share this with you.
University of Minnesota – https://extension.umn.edu/community-economics/retaining-business-coaching-and-training