Build the deck
The sequence of slides in a deck or keynote is intentional. First, capture and hold the attention of the audience; next, create value through the examples you share; and then instill a sense of urgency to workshop an area of opportunity. These are the key sections in a typical deck:
The first couple of slides describe how we’re different and demonstrate the spectrum of Fortune 1000 companies we work with. The idea here is to establish credibility and to do so in a couple of minutes so that we don’t lose the audience’s attention.
Feature relevant case studies after the introduction. They are the most important component of the deck. Select stories from our library relevant to the client’s industry and the solution space (if known). Try to capture a breadth of our services in the case studies chosen—from strategic product work to microservices implementation to research and scaled implementation.
Show case studies up front to capture the prospect’s attention and create affinity while demonstrating:
- our knowledge of their industry;
- our ability to successfully solve challenges faster; and
- our familiarity of understanding how to address the hardships they likely face.
Keep in mind that your buyer is a human being who has aspirations and motivations just like any other person. During the presentation, be hyperaware of the information the prospect shares. Consider:
- What does success look like for the prospect? Is it career advancement? Is it scale? Is it removing a pain point like a poor partnership?
- What pains and past failures are they trying to prevent? How can you cement their confidence in you in those areas?
Always mention that there are more case studies available; the case studies included in the deck are curated to the prospect’s organization and vertical while also maintaining respect for the prospect’s time.
Don’t be afraid to shuffle the script if the situation calls for it. Always show PowerUp as a closer.
If something comes up organically in discussion, open the case study deck, and pivot on the spot to a case study. Sharing these stories solidifies your expertise, even if they’re stories from a different vertical. What’s most important is sharing stories that help enforce credibility and give proof that we are capable of solving similar business problems.
Gauge how successful the presentation is by the number of questions being asked: “Where are you guys located?” “How do the teams integrate with the client?” “What is the model?” That’s ideal. We’ll roll right into process next.
After sharing client stories to capture the prospect’s attention and building some affinity, they’re primed to hear about how we make the sausage—our process.
Showing our process in a rich way means actually training prospects and creating value even beyond a potential engagement. Share best practices of Lean Requirements, dual-track scrum, patterns of emerging technology stacks, CI/CD, and more. Demonstrating deep knowledge of our process as well as developments in the industry builds credibility and the promise of an enriching relationship.
Go as deep and as rich as the audience allows. Monitor the audience and elaborate only if education is necessary. The goal is to create value. For senior executives, move fast.
All great presentations have a grand reveal—a moment of crescendo, of expected culmination and resolution. Our grand reveal is the video demonstrating the PowerUp app. Make sure to build up the importance of the tool, the transparency of the process, and the ability to manage Agile delivery at scale, and then show the video.
Include a few slides providing an overview of the company—its size, scale, and mission. Be sure to tell prospects about our history, briefly cover our success and rapid growth, as well as the benefits of being a global organization.
Even if you’re a brilliant presenter, the prospect (hopefully nearly a client by now) likely needs additional assurances, confirmations, and deep dives to make the commitment. This is an excellent opportunity to suggest they come back to workshop a solution.
I recommend positioning the workshop such that the prospect clearly understands the value and purpose of the working session:
- The best demonstration of our process, skills, and ownership is to see our team actually engage in problem solving in a room with the engineers, designers, and product manager who work on the product dev and build.
- The workshop requires a minimal time commitment—a day from the prospect team’s stakeholders, a selected problem space to workshop.
- No matter the outcome (even if the prospect opts not to partner with us), we hand over the workshop artifacts. It’s a no-risk guarantee!
Confidence plays a key role here. I assure prospects by telling them I am willing to pass on billing them for the workshop session / solutioning time if they decide to walk away! We have great people. The team sells themselves naturally just by being who they are and doing what they do best. Get that workshop scheduled.
“You’re not afraid to give away the most strategic part of your services?! How confident and brave of you! Not many clients walk away after this step, do they?”
That’s an actual comment from a prospect.