Meeting with executives requires far more time in planning because they expect so much more of you so quickly. They want you to be well informed and do not want to spend their valuable time giving you background that is readily available elsewhere. So, where do you go to get the information you need?
- The customer’s website. Read executive backgrounds, product descriptions, company locations, etc. and pay special attention to annual reports, the letter from the CEO, their 10K and press releases.
- News articles. Look for recent news on the industry as well as the customer company so you can be aware of market trends and competition.
- Online research. Use LinkedIn, Hoovers and whatever tools you have to learn more about the company and its major players.
- Networks. Use your own firm’s network for others who may have called on the company. Check out trade magazines. Join relevant associations and read their newsletters.