• Beth Torrie

Listen First

When it comes to working with industry analysts, there are ton of preconceived notions that most executives have. Some are excited, some are angry or frustrated, and yet, some see these interactions as a driver to grow a company.


It's important to understand their I recently listened to a Ted Talk about listening and unconscious bias and preconceived notions that really improved my approach for executive preparation. Now, the first question I ask is: "what do you expect?". Many tech execs can be defensive or are prepared for a battle that never happens and certainly does not need to happen. Analyst relations professionals need to understand the mindset of an exec and map her differentiated subject knowledge to the research, inquiry and innovation interests of the analyst.


This requires listening, researching, preparation and writing. But the first step is important, and sometimes folks are in a rush, so I think it's important to think about and try to add in to our interactions.


Even senior and experienced AR pros can be more externally aware than internally aware. In our efforts to created trusted relationships that push companies forward, we have to remember to listen to both sides.


Here are a few probing questions to consider:

  • Tell me about how you have worked with analysts in the past?

  • What do you expect from this analyst?

  • Do you expect that the analysts will agree with your point-of-view?


You don't need to spend hours on this. If you spend a few minutes, you will be able to better align your expectations, the analyst's expectations and have a more productive conversation.


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PS - Another great resource that was recommended by an Infosys Board Member years ago is the book: The Zen of Listening, Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction by Rebecca Z. Shafir.


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