Following up on our series of shareholder engagement blogs, if your company is on the smaller size, you might have trouble attracting the attention of someone who already invests in your company – but from whom you want to solicit their vote at the next shareholders meeting. Shareholder Engagement 101.
Here’s a few suggestions about how to perhaps achieve this:
1. This is a persuasion exercise. So you may want to send messaging that might grab their curiosity. Our communications guru at the firm – Karen Lisko – recommends that you spell out in bullets what you’re after, but wording it in a way that piques interest.
For example, Karen suggests you give them an odd number of minutes. “I need you for 7 minutes of your time.” It might grab them because it’s unexpected and strange. It’s short. But package the message in a way that they seem important and necessary. It might not always work, but it should increase your odds.
2. Try other avenues of reaching someone at the investor. Ask your directors, your senior managers, if they might have a relationship with someone at the investor.
3. Be persistent. Don’t give up after a single try. Someone might be busy when you first send an email. When you first leave a voicemail.
But be careful here. Don’t overdo it either. Nor should you send any messages indicating you’re annoyed that they haven’t responded. That’s obviously counter-productive.
4. If they’ve met with you before – but now won’t do it again – ask for a candid explanation of why that’s so. Did you go over your allotted time the last time around? Was someone on your team not responsive enough? Perhaps rude? Assure them that you won’t take their response personally. And try to make that the case…