Navon Partners has a particular expertise in using social media for deal origination and more broadly to sell to senior executives. We literally wrote the book on the topic, The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online, which Harvard Business School Working Knowledge called "a smart addition to any company bookshelf". We also founded and ran an online network focused on providing institutional investors with direct access to senior executives, Evalueserve Circle of Experts.
- Our private equity clients often ask: how is social media pertinent to closing transactions with senior executives---typically middle-aged or older, and often not technology-savvy?
- First, social media is rapidly becoming ubiquitous. According to Forrester, 3 out of 4 Americans use social technology. Nielsen reports that 2/3 of the global internet population visit social networks, and visiting social sites is now the 4th most popular online activity ahead of personal email.
- Second, the reality is that institutional investors and senior executives are already in social media, whether they like it or not, and whether they know it or not.
- Your clients search for you on Google before doing business with you.
- You are already a member of gated online communities, which you may or may not be fully leveraging: your alumni network, your local moms' or dads' mailing list, your church/synagogue/mosque, etc.
- You are already being tracked in some of the numerous biography analysis services which mine the web for information on senior businesspeople.
- Most important, today's Twitterers and Facebook users are tomorrow's senior executives. Your competitors are already educating themselves about these technologies; are you?
- Social media is pertinent throughout the private equity investing cycle:
|Investing Cycle||How Social Media is an Accelerator|
|Raise capital||Identify value-added potential investors, including past investors in comparable funds
Find common connections who can introduce you to potential investors
|Originate investments||Identify and reach out to relevant people & companies
Make yourself into a magnet for pertinent investment opportunities
|Due diligence||Review professional and personal lives of management
Talk with firm's network: customers, competitors, suppliers
|Negotiate deal||Gain insight into counterparty's negotiating style and motivations|
|Improve operations||Recruit performers who are more readily searchable than ever before
Accelerate sales and marketing
|Exit investment||Identify strategic acquirers|