As the president of an ad agency and recruiting company who receives a barrage of phone calls each day from dot-com companies, it became apparent to me early on that I needed to develop some parameters for distinguishing good prospects from not-so-good prospects.
Parameter #1: Prospective clients that assume I’ll want to work for them just because they’re dot-coms are not-so-good prospects. Although that kind of herd mentality may be fueling the Internet rush, I’m an ex-Missourian and you’ve got to “show me” why we should do business. Do you have a sound product concept? Do you have a plan? Do you have experienced people in place to execute the plan? How are you going to fund your project? Are you willing to pay an ad agency fairly for services rendered?
Parameter #2: All of that information must be volunteered to my agency in order for us to take the project seriously. When I have to extract this vital data from dot-com representatives, I am forced to question what’s been propelling the business from the beginning. The answer (you guessed it) is the hope of gaining fortune through an inevitable and impending IPO, the now-famous Wall-Street-gold-strike-just-around-the-corner-that’s-going-to-make-us-all-rich sentiment.