This question came up recently when I was describing one of our current clients as a “good” client.
But what exactly is a “good” client?
Three things come to mind.
Responsiveness – There are many qualities that a good client possesses, but I think responsiveness comes to the top of the list, especially when we are out-licensing on their behalf.
The reason is that we do not operate in a vacuum and forward our client’s information on to potential partners. We re-draft all marketing materials, identify data or other gaps, and help organize data rooms, amongst other things.
So the process works best when there is frequent, timely communication and file transfer, especially early in the process.
Honesty – This refers to a client’s honesty with themselves and their assets and opportunities.
It’s a real challenge when a client thinks an asset is worth x when, in reality, it may only be worth a fraction of that perceived value.
Maybe we should be saying objectivity instead of honesty. And we recognize it’s hard to be objective when trying to out-license your own drug candidates.
But it is important to represent assets accurately, balancing that with the need to remain positive.
Patience – We once had an out-licensing client who wanted weekly updates. Now as many of you know, some people can take more than a week to respond to an email. Scouts are flooded with opportunities which can take months to sort through. Meanwhile, the next wave is coming in with no end in sight.
It’s hard for some clients to appreciate that these things take time. So while it may appear that deals are getting done daily, what we don’t know is how long some of them took to actually get there in the first place.
So if you have a Responsive, Patient, Honest client, hang on to him or her with both hands!