A question from Quora was sent to me to answer. And it demonstrates so neatly why many new business people get discouraged by apparent failures. My answer shows how to play the “advantage” card from a disappointment and position yourself for future success while gaining valuable business experience from the situation.
My business partner’s dad/investors asked for a pitch, to which he said no after a while, but still plans to use some of the ideas. What can I do?
I told her this idea I had for a concept store that she just shared with her Dad who offered to invest/add it to his Group. After talking a few weeks ago, he just sent us a decline letter, but she says he & his partners may still use some of my ideas. I’m lost… and she doesn’t care.. What can I do ?
How to benefit from a failed pitch
Write back to each person, individually, thanking them very much for their time in hearing your pitch. Be sure that they understand how much of the pitch was your concept/idea. Say you’re sorry that they have decided not to progress working with you at this time.
Tell them that if they use your ideas in future you will be keen to
a) work on the project, or
b) receive a commission payment to reflect your intellectual capital investment
Tell them that this is only one of many bright ideas you have to contribute to their businesses and ask for an introduction to two other people who might be keen to work with someone of your talents.
Four days later, follow up with a phone call to each one to check they got your email and to ask for the introductions.
The outcome will be that you will probably not get any money from a) or b). But the introductions you receive will give you entry into a new circle of prospective employers and clients.
Why this works
The psychology of getting them to acknowledge your contribution (which they may use in future without paying) provokes the principle of reciprocity. You gave them something of value and now you are asking for something of value in return (introductions).
The follow-up shows that you are more determined than most (e.g. your business partner) and therefore are “one to watch” for the future who may benefit them again.
Lastly, in future don’t share your ideas with your business partner again without first gaining agreement about how they are to be used and valued.