Yesterday in SETsquared I was talking through how to prepare to promote a proposition to investors. I mentioned what I call the “Promotion Triangle” which is a very simple tool to make sure one has the right pitches to draw people into your idea or proposition in a series of easy steps. Of course, promotion is not limited to investors; I first used the idea when I was selling products.
Imagine yourself in a pub, wedding reception, networking event, etc. speaking to someone for the first time. At some point you are likely to be asked “So what do you do?” This is where the Promotion Triangle comes into play. Each level is designed to draw the listener to ask about the next, lower level with more detail. If they stop asking, you stop talking and ask about them (if you haven’t already)! So working down through each level in turn…
- 3 words. This is an introduction to what you do. At a networking event this may already be on your name badge. For example: “I am the Founder of a Software Company called Gordano.”
- Sentence. A sentence (or two) gives more idea of what you do (perhaps tailored if you know what their interests are). For example: “We sell software that manages and sends email for companies like IBM, TieRack, Oxfam, and Barclays.”
- Paragraph. This is almost a “sales pitch” designed to find out how interested the other party is as well as introduce the benefits of your product, service or investing in your company. Typically this will result in an exchange of business cards and an informal agreement to meet over coffee/tea sometime for the…
- Executive Summary. By now you will have a good insight into your interlocker’s reasons for want to find out more. In a Business Plan the Executive Summary is generally a page long. It is the same here but tailored to pick out the salient points for the person listening. If you are selling a service you will talk about the benefits to this particular customer.
- Business Plan (or Sales Material). A document (or set of documents) that will provide your customer so that they have something to read and get a better understanding of what you do. This will include a “call to action” – an order form or details of where to buy shares. At this point your job is done.
- Supporting Material. For larger sales (of service, product or shares) you will need to provide some additional evidence to support the sales process. These could be spread sheets of financials, copies of patents, contracts, marketing reports, agreements, independent reviews of the market/product/service, etc.