I had a meeting 2 weeks ago with a larger company who are interested in forming either a partnership or merger with my company. The meeting went very well, and I followed up promptly after the meeting thanking those that were involved for there time. I know that arrived in their respective countries just over a week ago. I have not heard back regarding the decision to move forward or not. I am unclear on when or if I should reach out to them. It could be that they are formulating some plan or decisions or an offer who knows. I am trying to keep the anxiousness in check. Thoughts?
I think the closest analogy would be - the same way you're flirting with a girl. Like, if you know she's really interested you call the next day. If she's not then you "play hard to get" and wait the standard 3 days. You have to look at their indicators of interest, whether there's a specific timeframe involved, etc. Either way - it helps to follow up as much as every 1-3 days - you want to get the conclusion to a simple yes or no as soon as possible. Hope that helps!
Working with larger partners can be a little challenging. There are many layers and approvals, etc... But I think staying in touch on a once to twice a week basis is a good idea. Not necessarily always asking about the decision. There may be other topics like what the competition is doing, any news articles about similar offerings, etc... It helps keep the conversation going rather than "did you decide?" "no" "talk to you in a couple of days" kind of interaction...
My #1 rule on follow up is that you must be peristaltic, but not annoying. Be creative with his you are reaching out to them. I've been featured in a few articles on Inc. and Creator Magazine for how unique my follow up is.
If you want some help strategizing for 5-10 minutes how you should follow up, shoot me a message and I'll help you out.
I hate the feeling of being anxious on call follow up, but if you go about it the correct way and do it confidently, they will eventually respond.
Definitely time to start pushing them for the next meeting. There are a few tactical you could use but next time, remember to always set up the next meeting before you leave and push the people you are meeting with you to put the next meeting in their calendars. If you're working with C-level people, go and chat with their assistants which might also be your play here. See if you can connect with their assistants to get 15 minutes for a status update call with your decision makers.
I wouldn't push for anything I would simply reach out to them to understand their timeline and process that they would use should they want to merge/buyout, etc. Pretty reasonable question to ask and that way you know the whole play from front to back.
I recently met with a merger candidate who was eager and wanted to meet but when I communicated that a possible merger might take 2 years to implement because of licensing, geography, office leases, employment redundancy, etc they were immediately turned off.
In order for a deal to work the deal has to make sense AND the timing has to be there for both parties.
You should feel comfortable asking these questions of the other party or they aren't taking you seriously. Buyers or merger candidates expect due diligence and questions throughout the process. Not asking would be a big red flag to me that the other party didn't know what they were doing or were timid communicators. Both of which would turn me off.