My next move: M&A expertise

I’m an interim manager with specialist skills in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). I have read that the pharmaceuticals industry in particular is currently undergoing a lot of M&A activity. I want to offer my services to these companies, but am unable to get through the door. How can I communicate how my skills might benefit them and raise my profile within this sector and the HR industry in general?

When you think of how many businesses in the UK could potentially be able to use your services, it is overwhelming. So how do you let them know what exactly you do without wasting anybody’s time? It’s time to start thinking outside the box from traditional marketing methods and start communicating your services in other ways to raise your profile.

In addition to sending out your direct mail, details of your website and/or brochure, consider public relations. Offer to speak at industry events and get to know the pharmaceutical and HR trade press. Journalists are always looking for new stories, and as an interim you may be able to provide them with a different angle. By building these relationships, you are more likely to be quoted when they are writing relevant articles, as well as establishing awareness in the marketplace.

Be aware that building a press network takes time, as they may not have any features that are relevant to you in an immediate timeframe. In the meantime, build your networks – for example, by attending conferences for pharmaceutical or HR professionals, seminars, industry events and awards ceremonies. Recommendations and referrals within your own network can also be powerful marketing tools for selling your services.

There are a number of online networking groups, such as LinkedIn (, and Open BC ( Research online opportunities and list your services on relevant pharmaceutical or HR sites. Join online forums where pharmaceutical or HR professionals may go for advice.

Some other suggestions include:

  • Join professional and alumni associations
  • Write articles and/or columns
  • Start a newsletter
  • Start a special interest group if there is not one in your locality
  • Speak at local networking or special interest groups
  • Offer your services free to charities or at fundraising events if appropriate
  • Sign up with specialist recruitment consultancies.

Gail Bell,
Managing director,
Interim Performers

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