Tags – Pre-Syndication


How often have you shown up to a meeting knowing nothing about what to expect?

In most cases, we have a general understanding and idea of what is coming, but do you truly know what direction will be taken in your business meeting?

Sadly, the above statements apply to a wide range of business gatherings: from socials to sales, and from general catch ups to decision-making that can change the whole direction of a business.

The question here isn’t: why are businesses run this way. Because now that I am pointing towards it, and you are thinking about it, I am sure we can agree that this is not how business should be run.

Instead, the question here is: can we do better?

Of course, we can. We can align our business vision better, which is generally dictated by such meetings, with pre-syndication.



For the people among you with a bit more understanding of finance, pre-syndication means the act of selling security before a secondary offering.

Basically, the idea is: you will get a more stable price of the security if you pre-syndicate, which, in theory, will then make it easier for you to place secondary offerings in front of the investors.

However, unlike the financial world where pre-syndication is regulated to a considerable extent, you can pick and apply the principles of pre-syndication in your business for mostly positive outcomes.


Pre-Syndication as a Business Concept

Credit where credit is due, I picked the idea of using pre-syndication in general business from McKinsey & Company.

This is how they apply the concept of pre-syndication in everyday business:

  • One on one’s before critical meetings;
  • Building consensus before going into a negotiation;
  • Lobbying to ensure that the required support and backing is available before a decision is made;
  • Figuring out the potential reasons for failure before discussions begin; and
  • Deciding on ‘what to give’ before an agreement is reached

Now I am assuming that most of our businesses don’t have 30,000+ employees and yearly revenue of $10+ billion like McKinsey, so I will translate how you can apply pre-syndication in your business.


Applying Pre-Syndication

In most businesses, there is more than one decision-maker.

(By the way, if in your business, you think that you are the only decision maker, you may as well stop reading now. Or, alternatively, you can apply this process when you engage with your audience, e.g. clients).

And, if you have more than one decision maker, chances are that you each have your own ideas budding in your mind that you intend to throw into the mix.

In all fairness, until the ideas are converted into a plan and then executed, almost all ideas in the mind are valid. In fact, in most cases, it’s how you put the idea forward and how you handle objections and challenges is what determines the success of your ideas.

With a bit of pre-syndication, you will not only improve your ideas, but will also get approval more easily.

So, this is how you can do it:


1. Know Who You Are Dealing With

Start by analysing how each decision maker behaves. You are likely to find the following personalities:

  • The Agreeable: This person goes along; so you don’t need to worry about them. However, it is rare to have business decision makers that are that easy to convince.
  • The Challenger: This person is on the other end of the agreeable; they are going to question you extensively.
  • The Tester: This person is likely to agree, but there is a chance that their heart isn’t in it. Basically, they are willing to give it a go and see.

So, map out where each decision maker sits from a psychological perspective, and put bits in motion to deal with them.


2. Deal With Each Decision Maker

I am sure you can see this one coming: you don’t have to do much about the agreeable.

However, the challenge is: if a person is easily agreeable with you, they are going to do the same with the next idea that comes along.

In other words, there is limited commitment from this person. But, you can change that.

Easier said than done, but you need to get some form of commitment from the agreeable and make sure that the commitment continues. For example, give them a busy role in the execution that keeps them working within the idea. If you do so, make sure that you are also making this person track and report. This way, instead of following any idea that comes along, they become a part of the execution and will find it difficult to pull out when the next idea comes along.

In any case, when it comes to the point of gaining collective agreement, keep these people down the chain because, chances are, if the other two personalities remain on board, the agreeable will remain on board automatically.

The other two personalities: the challengers and the testers, even though they sound more difficult to handle, are actually easier to manage. This is mainly because you can actually put the right information in front of them and see an outcome in a somewhat linear fashion.

So, all you need to do is: don’t let them go blind into a decision making process; plant seeds and follow how they react.

For example, if you are going to bring ideas about the strategic direction of your organisation, get in touch with them individually and discuss:

  • What has been on your mind?
  • What specific sections of the business have you been thinking about?
  • What you think needs to be mapped and analysed?

If you want to hit it home: convert some of your ideas into questions and try to push these personalities in a direction that you wanted to take all along.

If this sounds like some form of manipulation, let me clarify one bit: this process is manipulation if your ideas don’t change at all during this process.

All you are doing is: trying to bring the decision makers as close to what you are trying to do for the organisation, and reaching a common ground of understanding. This will mean that you should be open to tweakling and involving the decision makers.

In fact, this point of involving each personality type is the make or break point, requiring slightly different strategies to make it happen for each of the personalities.

Otherwise, you will spend too much time on searching for solutions and never move forward with a shared understanding of what needs to be done.


3. Put A Tracked Plan in Place

Finally, now that the decision makers have agreed on what needs to be done, map it, plan it, put a process for application, and, probably most importantly, track it all.

In most cases, if it can be shown that a direction is paying off, only minor changes will come about, instead of moving forward in a zig zag fashion.

Keep that feeling of progress going, with the support of positive results, and see your business flourish.


Concluding Remarks

Your aim needs to be: how do we all get on the same page.

And pre-syndication makes this process of getting on the same page easier.

From here on, the rest is standard business.


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