strategic consultant to:  

~ serial CEOs & CTOs in software, Internet, technology & digital media
~ experienced consultants in all fields to maximize their practices

You have been invited to present to a room filled with excellent referral sources, perhaps in one company, or in a networking group.  You don’t know them, but you want them to share their clients and contacts with you for new projects.

I often help my clients by drafting these presentations, or reviewing what they offer as a first draft.  Defining your value proposition and structuring the presentation to not seem like a sale pitch can require a subtle use of language.

Of course, you must not “pitch.”  Everyone hates to be “sold.”  You must define a larger problem that you and your referral sources can begin to solve.  You must educate your sources to understand your unique value and where it fits in the target markets and threats to success of their client companies.  And you must first engage your audience and make them “see” you as a compassionate expert, and to connect with you.

Here are the elements of a successful partnering/referral pitch deck:

  • Must engage the audience to like you and your willingness to help their client companies.
  • Must define your expertise.
  • Must define a larger problem than they (the audience or their clients) can solve themselves (economic shifts, technology changes, etc.)
  • Must define a larger problem in general — the failing of companies based on current conditions (all which can be solved by your expertise).
  • Must define the impact of the problem if left un-resolved  (failed companies, loss of employment, investment and ROI).
  • Must educate the audience about the problem and the larger issues mentioned above.
  • Must tell stories of threatened companies and the resolution to that threat by the expert (you).
  • Must remind them that you care, and why you care, and how you can help.
  • Must then offer services which they can research on your site and Linkedin, and also allow them to ask you direct questions.
  • Must provide contact information.
  • Must leave time to engage in an open conversation.

This approach, for all its structure, must be sincere.  If you are only pitching, it will show.  If you don’t care about your clients and your referral sources, that will show.  So dig deep and find that real part of you that wants to truly engage with your colleagues, and speak from there.