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12 Key Tips for Running Great Analyst Briefings

Updated: Mar 27

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. That certainly goes for your first briefing with a Gartner, Forrester (or any firm) analyst.  

Analyst relations is about developing a healthy relationship that is beneficial for both the vendor and the analyst.  If you don’t have a commercial arrangement, you  have to build this relationship based on briefings. But you can do it! Be interesting and relevant on the first briefing to get a second date, then more and more. Earn this!  If you do have a commercial relationship, the combination of excellent briefings and inquiries is unstoppable. 

Analysts are impressed by vendors with a solid vision, strong execution, and great people. You can’t just tell them how great you are, you have to show them with evidence…facts... proof points. 

Here are some tips:

  1. Getting a briefing slot is an accomplishment in itself. Your briefing request must be compelling, show your relevance to their research, and promise information that will help them understand the market comprehensively. It’s as much about them as it is about you. 

  2. Always have specific objectives. The vaguer you are, the less likely you will be to really accomplish anything. What does it look like if this briefing is outstanding? What exactly happens?  Interest in learning more, request for a demo, desire to talk to a customer, invitation to a significant report, mentions to prospects. These are all outcomes that indicate the beginning of a productive relationship.  

  3. Learn everything you can about the analyst ahead of time.  Review any writing or video you can get your hands on. Understand their point of view on your space, their beliefs, the terms and concepts they use. And, for extra credit, root out some hobbies and interests. You’re developing a relationship, and personal connections help professional relations.

  4. Apply Tip 3 to your presentation. Tailor your presentation to what you learned about the analyst’s beliefs. Do not give the cookie cutter sales version of your story that you honed for buyers. These are knowledgeable experts in your field. Use the analyst’s own terms and concepts to show your vision in the context of theirs. 

  5. Use storytelling. I encourage my client to start off the introductory briefing with a story from the perspective of a customer.  A real story with characters, emotion, plot, tension, resolution. It explains the struggles the customer was facing when you met them, what you offered, how they chose you, how they were able to change, the success they found.  The customer is the hero of the story.  Tell it from their perspective because the analyst is there to serve the buyers -- not you. And by making the buyer the winner, you are ultimately serving yourself. After all, the hero in the story only succeeded because they discovered you and used your tools, capabilities and differentiators. 

  6. Share your vision and mission.  What are you about? How is the world broken? What do you believe about how it should be?  Why? What is your mission to change the world to that vision?  This sets up the context for what you do and how you do it. 

  7. Show how you fit into the ecosystem of your market.  What kind of solutions do you compete against?  What do you complement? How do you fit into the customer’s technology stack? Help the analyst put you into perspective. 

  8. Show proof points that you are executing.  Customer wins. Growth in employees and revenue, strength of the product. You’re not making an investor pitch, but you need to prove yourself. Analysts want to help buyers and mention a winning company.  

  9. Ideal Customer Profile- Paint as specific a picture you can of the target customer.  Not just the basic demographics (size, industry, geography), but the detailed characteristics of the organizations that select you vs. an alternative.  Make it crystal clear so when they encounter that type of prospect, you will come straight to mind and a mention will come straight out of their mouth. 

  10. Save the facts about your company until the end. Nobody cares until you prove you matter.  Give them one slide with things like founding year, # of customers, # of employees, location of offices, key personnel.  No fluff.  No blabber.  

  11. Finish with a strong summary slide. Limit to three to five points that you want the analyst to remember. The analyst can forget everything else and this slide will have you completely covered.  Do not add new information.  That’s the slide you leave up during the Q&A. 

  12. And speaking of Q&A, leave time for it!  This is the hardest thing for every spokesperson. If you have a 30-minute slot, plan 20 minutes of content.  Use this precious 10 minutes as productively as possible.  Accomplish what you can from the following:

  • Address questions as briefly as possible to make time for other discussion.

  • Suggest more time for a demo, deeper dive on the products or anything you didn’t cover (get the next date).

  • Ask directly for feedback.  Although analysts technically don’t give feedback at a briefing, they will often offer high-level direction.  It’s worth asking about, for example, how they think you differ from your competitors, or how your value prop resonates with buyers' needs.  

  •  Ask about their buyer inquiries (assuming they take them).  Would this be useful to their typical customer? Learn about the kind of inquiry they take with end users.  Plant seeds for them to mention you. 

  • Pique their interest. Tease an interesting discussion and secure more time. .  

Whatever you don’t get to is fodder for the follow up email. 

 At Schaffer AR we pride ourselves on the fabulous briefings our customers deliver. Need help, look at our Spokeperson Training and Evaluation offers.

When you use briefings smartly and strategically, they go far in reaching your analyst relations goals.  There is a robust chapter in my book, Analysts on Analyst Relations: Practical Secrets for Winning Big, about briefings from the perspective of analysts. I wrote a blog about this.  The whole book is packed with insights from analysts about how to do analyst relations right, and I think the briefing chapter is the best.  Check it out. 

I’m always happy to strategize about great analyst briefings. Feel free to set a chat at

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