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Best 5 Networking Strategies You Need to Accelerate Your Deal Sourcing Efforts

4 Min Read

Why should I invest in network building?

An increasingly competitive market and rapidly changing economy require private equity firms to be agile. When it comes to investment strategies, executives need to explore unique strategies that differ from the status quo. Innovative methods can help firms gain the advantage.

With a possible recession on the horizon, firms should dial in on expanding their executive networks. Connections often inform, close and open deals in private equity when leveraged wisely. Today’s landscape requires firms to further invest in fostering meaningful relationships with stakeholders who can provide long-lasting value.

Having the right connections can mean the difference between securing or losing your firm’s next opportunity. If you’re eager to stand out from others, you must be ready to dedicate time, energy and resources to building and sustaining connections.

The benefits of private equity deal sourcing strategies include: 

  • Continue momentum in your deal pipeline. 
  • Gain access to propriety deals. 
  • Earn the competitive edge with sellers. 
  • Advance your portfolio companies. 
  • Prepare portfolio companies for recession. 
  • Help business development. 

Recognize that executive connections serve a larger purpose than due diligence for specific deals. If you cultivate a deeper rapport with them, you could be on their shortlist for exclusive deals and introductions to other players in their network. These relationships are key to overcoming competition and weathering economic downturns.

How can I build my executive network?

Building a robust executive network requires time, effort and resources. Though it takes long-term investment, a robust network will prove invaluable in growing your portfolio companies and securing your private equity firm’s success through fluctuating market conditions.

Ways to build your executive network include: 

  1. Knowledge provider consulting from Apex Leaders: Our team can find precise-fit partners tailored to your firm’s specific interests. 
  1. Compensate executives for their time and expertise: Apex Leaders, as well as private equity firms, will provide incentives for advisors to share their knowledge.
  1. Utilize existing connections for introductions to new connections: A trusted partner can help expand your network by facilitating introductions in key industries. 
  1. Take ample time to research relevant contacts before connecting: Spend the time upfront to find suitable executives for your goals to avoid wasting anyone’s time. 
  1. Ask the right questions when interacting with executives: Show them your eagerness to learn from their expertise by asking thoughtful, well-curated questions. 

After your initial conversation, be sure to follow up. Avoid letting a connection fizzle out. An executive connection may be able to help you identify and evaluate future deals—including proprietary offers.

How can sourcing help me get proprietary deals in private equity?

Establishing solid partnerships can position your firm as the preferred buyer for exclusive deals. By building on your reputation over time, key players in target industries will start to view your firm with credibility and trust—paving the way for your firm to clinch profitable proprietary deals.

When these executives individually select your firm for deals—before others have the chance to make offers—your firm saves time and money otherwise spent standing out from the competition. Your connections can help you hit the ground running with niche industry expertise that helps turn an opportunity into a profitable enterprise.

When it comes to getting proprietary deals, private equity firms should focus on building relationships with the right people—not all people. Narrowing your efforts can result in a high-quality connection with a dealmaker who can introduce your firm to high-reward deals on a regular basis. Not only that, but they can introduce you to others who can do the same.

What is the best private equity networking advice?

Making connections requires forethought. Before you jump into the process, consider ways to make the experience more worthwhile for you and the other party. 

Try this private equity networking advice when interacting with new connections: 

  • Clearly communicate the executive’s value to your deal process. 
  • Provide incentive for the executive’s time and expertise. 
  • Show gratitude for the knowledge you gain from the executive. 
  • Provide clear next steps for the relationship (i.e. stating that you will follow up with them for a phone call, coffee, video chat, etc.). 
  • Ask the executive whether they suggest you connect with anyone else in their network. 

Establishing a positive relationship advances your firm’s credibility and reputation. Recognize that one connection can lead to other connections. If your firm is memorable with thought-provoking questions, polite gestures and professional prowess, executives will see your firm as a favorable candidate for other connections and future deals.

What is unique about private equity networking?

These are some special considerations when engaging in private equity networking. The goal of connecting with executive advisors is much different than seeking relationships with peers or co-workers. 

You should remember that these executives are providing expertise to help your team. Since you’re looking for specific insight to grow and advance your portfolio, you should be vigilant of the person’s time and resources. Be sure to bring value to the conversation and thank them.

To avoid negative interactions, be sure to set aside time to research and identify executives that are worth your team’s time investment. This will help you prevent inadvertently networking with irrelevant professionals who cannot help you advance deals. Use your discernment wisely—never write off connections who you think may have valuable insights to share.

Curious about building your network to enhance your deal sourcing strategies? Contact us.

Apex Leaders is ready to make introductions! We do research, recruiting and personal vetting to connect you with perfect-fit executive advisors. After the introduction, we’ll give you ungated access to continue the meaningful relationships. Connect with our team today to implement proven private equity deal sourcing strategies.