Networking with M&A on the brain
Mergers and acquisitions between companies are built on relationships between people. As the pace of tech M&A picks up even more, the shuffle of finding and persuading companies to take a look at your firm becomes even more frenzied. One of the best ways to put your brand on the map and get your foot in the door of important meetings is to build a strong professional network. At an industry event you might not meet the CEO who will take an interest in your enterprise but you might meet someone who knows the right person.
Here are some strategies for networking in the tech industry when a merger or acquisition is on your mind:
Don't forget your college buddies. We've discussed how tech CEOs are younger than leaders in most other industries. As such, they're not so removed from their undergraduate or business school days. If you had bright, ambitious and interesting friends in college, see what they're up to today. Peter Cohan of Inc. Magazine suggests that your old college network can be a good place to start when building relationships in the tech industry.
Prepare notes ahead of time. If you've been invited to casual drinks, a conference or another networking opportunity, scope out the guest list ahead of time: Who will be there? What do they do? What are their interests? Scoping out social media can give you a window into how to engage with different types of people.
Always follow up. If you get business cards, Twitter follows, email addresses or other means of communication out of networking, use them. The connections you make today can be valuable assets down the road.