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Anonymous Guest Post: How to Impress / Annoy a Vendor During an Analyst Briefing?

by Anton Chuvakin  |  January 12, 2018  |  2 Comments

A little bird has swooped in and dropped a package into a super-secret drop box in my backyard. My dog has found the package and the following was sealed inside. Clearly, the bird has delivered this in response to my post here.

The below is NOT edited in any way, and is reposted as delivered. The title is added by me.

How to Impress / Annoy a Vendor During an Analyst Briefing or Inquiry?

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Do Not:

– Act as if the vendor is privileged to be speaking with you.

– Be distracted. In the case of inquiries, client has quite literally paid for your time.

– Shoot the messenger. If you have worked with the AR person before and are experiencing a new annoyance, know it’s likely not them.

– Ask for customer references and not connect with the customer.

– Be inconsistent with other analysts in your own firm. If you have a differing opinion than a colleague (we realize it happens), be sure to cite that fact to the vendor who is often depending on what you say to be the opinion of your firm.

– Use Vendor Briefings as an opportunity to sell your research.

– Be vague about what you “hear” from your clients about a company in inquiries or advisory engagements.

– Use slides from your speaking engagements as the only source of content for advisory engagements.

– Claim extensive vendor lists for a category are not “exhaustive” as an excuse for leaving someone off. If it’s over five companies, it’s no longer just representative and you’re the expert on the space. You should know who is in it.

– Claim that flagship reports are based primarily on “year-long” feedback and then score a vendor poorly based on the “submission” or vice versa.

– Include lists of vendors in your blogs or other content just so your sales representative can reach out to vendors showing them how you “featured” their company.

Do:

– Proofread your content. You’re being positioned as an expert, don’t have typo-laden slides. Get someone else to look at it if you know you have challenges in that department.

– Bring notes from previous discussions with the vendor to reference during calls.

– Know the last time you have been given a demo and/or had a discussion about a product or service. Yes, this falls on the AR rep, but not every vendor has one and it’s important.

– Provide verbal cues that you are engaged during calls ala questions or comments.

– Provide the information requested by the vendor in inquiries or advisory sessions unless expressly prohibited and flag the requests that fall into the latter category.

– Talk to other analysts and read their research. Nothing makes a firm look worse than one analyst contradicting another and having no idea they have done it.

– If you don’t “buy” a statement or comment, say something. Not doing so will often be seen as you agreeing.

– Be willing to at least discuss opinions that differ from your own.

– Be overly clear about scoring criteria for flagship reports that include evaluations and stick to those criteria throughout the process.

– Forget about the past. What a vendor did or didn’t do in previous versions has limited impact on the quality of the latest offering.

– If you’re a tech analyst, forget about “first to market” and concentrate on “best in class”. Let the financial analysts worry about the other stuff.

– Understand how hard it is to schedule with some of you. Often it leads to a blurring of the lines between inquiries and briefings into “time with So and So”.

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Anton Chuvakin
Research VP and Distinguished Analyst
5+ years with Gartner
17 years IT industry

Anton Chuvakin is a Research VP and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner's GTP Security and Risk Management group. Before Mr. Chuvakin joined Gartner, his job responsibilities included security product management, evangelist… Read Full Bio


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