3 Common Mistakes That Sink Your Licensing Presentation

A big part of success is licensing is creating the right kind of presentation. Get it right, and your licensing partner wants to know more. Get it wrong, and they’ll walk away.

Here’s a list of the top 3 mistakes when presenting your IP and how to avoid them.

1. Failing to show your IP in a tangible format
It’s very difficult to present your IP with just words. The problem is what you say is often interpreted differently than what you mean. Plus, if your IP is very complex, explaining it can get very confusing. Especially if you’re presenting to non-technical execs, such as marketing or sales. If they don’t understand it, they won’t be interested in licensing it.

That’s why it’s critical to present in a tangible format, meaning they can see and touch. You’ll get better results in terms of licensees’ understanding your IP, and more importantly, seeing the value of licensing it. That means you must have a visual or two.

If you’re presenting a product, show a sample. If you haven’t gotten into the marketplace yet and don’t have a working product, or you don’t have even a non-working sample, at least try to put together a prototype.

If it’s a new technology, show exactly what the technology is and how the potential licensee can use this technology to increase their business.

2. Using the Wrong Format
Don’t just walk in with brochures, diagrams or other materials. If it’s not organized and presented in a format that is easy to show and follow, they’ll quickly lose interest.

What I suggest you do is take a look at the materials from trade shows. You’ll be able to see how established manufacturers are presenting and selling their products.

The more that you can develop your materials reflective of the trends in their particular industry or segment, and the more you can show or present your IP in the format they use for selling, the greater your likelihood of succeeding.

For example, if you are pitching an entertainment property, and your potential licensee is an apparel licensee, have artwork showing your entertainment property on apparel.

If you’re using power point, keep it to 8 – 10 slides. Any more, and you’ll lose people’s attention.

3. Failing to Explain Why Your IP is Better
Don’t spend all your time talking about the technical details of your IP, and nothing about why it’s better, faster or cheaper than the competition. If a licensee doesn’t understand why your IP is unique and how they’ll make money with it, they won’t be interested.

Remember a potential partner must understand why your IP is unique and worth the risk of licensing. Don’t neglect quantitative data that demonstrates, “Yes, it’s been the market. We’ve sold some product. Here are our results.” The more numbers you’ve got, the stronger the interest will be in licensing your IP.

The goal of your presentation is to get a “yes we’re interested” answer. Make your IP easy to see, touch, feel or show. Keep your presentation concise and tell the right story. It must engage your potential licensing partner and prove the value your IP brings to their business. Do your homework, and make sure your IP fits the licensees business. Most important, make sure you detail how and why they’ll make money with your IP.

Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid’s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges and startup events. He’s a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazine including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India. Rand also mentors at the Cal State Fullerton School of Business and Economics and is a judge for their startup business plan competitions.

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