How to Call Potential Invention Licensing Partners

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When we were kids, we probably sketched out some of the nuttiest inventions in our notebook and tried to create something that would change the world and make it a better place. Whether it was an automatic nosepicker or an instant trash cleaner, some of these inventions were pretty strange and didn’t make a lot of sense. Some kids out the notebooks away while others grew into their interest and became engineers, artists, and builders of dreams. The human mind is being realized as a hub of incredible inventions and feats that make living life easier than ever. Sometimes the inventors of these strange innovations are immediately labeled as crazy or as a type of person who shouldn’t be listened to. But, then again, some of the most brilliant people in the world are those who possess the most brilliant of minds. Whether the invention is useless or can save the human race, you have to give the inventors credit for even willing to take such an incredible risk and just do it, which is something people don’t do these days.
Thanks to science fiction and fantasy, we have been exposed to some pretty amazing and yet strange inventions that don’t have the possibility of actually existing in real life. But the inventions in this video cross the line between fantasy and reality, and regardless of how strange the inventions are, they say “poo poo” to logic and exist anyway. These strange inventions range from logical to completely useless, but they may be cool to own nonetheless.

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At some point in your invention commercialization process journey you are going to have to contact the companies with whom you want to pursue a licensing arrangement. That means that you, or someone such as a commission invention licensing agent, who represents you are going to have to pick up the phone and make a sales call.

If you are like most inventors, this task gives you pause. But, it shouldn’t!

If you understand your target market and understand the market relationships of some of the key companies in that market, than you will be perceived as someone who just might have that revolutionary product idea. This idea could hold the key to a sustainable market advantage for years to come.

Now, I’m not saying that all inventions are earth shattering and groundbreaking. What I am saying is that if you really understand what the companies that service your target market need and want, than you will be well received.

Whatever you do, make sure that you protect your intellectual property right before you approach a potential invention licensing partner. Failing to properly protect your intellectual property rights can mean that you forfeit them and all monies that may be made as a result of them.

It is best to find out how to get to the right person to pitch your idea. Do not email your invention concept unless you are specifically asked to by the person that you are targeting. Find an executive or decision maker that is open to new ideas. In small and medium sized businesses, which are a lot more innovative than they are given credit for, you will be able to talk to the owner or a key executive.

In larger companies you will have to peel the onion to find the right person. Check industry and trade association boards for contacts. In most cases those board members work for industry leaders. Use Linkedin to find some executives. This may allow you to use your existing relationships to gain an audience.

If you call the company cold, get to a receptionist and ask them who would be responsible for new revenue generating ideas. You want to get to an assistant for someone who can make a decision to review the invention. Get to the right assistant, at the very least before you really go into any details about your invention. Talk to marketing people – not engineers, technologists, or product development people.

Marketing people have an interest in growing revenue – period. The technical team that is responsible for new product development may feel threatened by a concept or invention that they did not develop. You don’t need the drama. Focus on those that have an interest in getting your invention a fair hearing with the ultimate decision makers.

If your invention will save the company operating expenses then you should seek a senior operating executive instead of a marketing executive. The senior executives are always interested in cutting costs and improving efficiencies. This is their mantra. They are all ears if you can help them.

Once you get them on the phone for the first time your goal is get them interested in learning more about your invention. Tell them that you are seeking their opinion. This is non-threatening and can lead to more of an open dialogue. If they see your invention turning into revenue than you have a real opportunity to move forward. Get permission to send them some more information.

The key here is to get their permission. When you get their permission they will be expecting the information. Keep this information general. Don’t share too much detail yet.

When you call and talk to either them or their assistant, you can reference the fact that they were expecting the information. It is best to develop a good relationship with their assistant. A sharp assistant will know that this is your goal, but if their boss likes you than they will play along.

Once you send them the information – either a fact sheet or a small package – follow up with another phone call within 10 days. Ask them:

*What they would do to maximize its market potential?
*What they thought about the concept as a whole?
*What changes they would like to see?
*What similar concepts or inventions are they aware of?
*How would they market it?

Ask these questions in the general conversation, not as an invention interrogation. Remember, people are people, and they will help you if they like you. You want to ask open ended questions to get them to talk. If you ask yes or no questions – you will get yes or no answers and won’t learn as much.

If they have not thought about how they would market the invention, at least in broad conceptual terms, than there is a very low chance that your invention has market appeal with that company. If they are trying to put you off than this may be the case. Ask a direct question about its potential. Better to kill the deal and move on than waste time with the “polite nod.”

Don’t feel bad, take what you have learned and move on to the next potential licensee. You see, this process is one of those – “Repeat Until Succeed!”

Incredible Magnet Invention – attracting and repelling forces in equilibrium.
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