Let’s be real. As a successful media sales rep who loves developing direct business, you’re drinking out of a firehose every hour of every day.

Call ins.
Call outs.
Needs Analyses.
Solution Development.
Pitches.
Closes.
Wins.
Losses.

Yeesh. Not only is it hard work, it requires you to actually bend time. By that I mean…when you’re working directly with the C-Suite and Business Owners, you have to do the kind of insight and strategy work that marketing and advertising agencies charge for, BY THE HOUR.

You don’t have that kind of time, right?  But you still want to do the very best work for your clients, yes?

That’s what I love the most about really successful “bizdev” media sales reps.

They’ve developed shortcuts (let’s say “hacks” to sound cool and current) that can deliver the kinds of insights and strategies that will crush client results.

(Personal opinion: I think many agencies could move waaay faster on insights and strategies but they’ve built over-complicated processes and hierarchies and have gotten comfortable with what I like to call “navel gazing”).

#Snarky

Which leads me to recommend one of my favorite hacks: The Business Case hack.

Now it’s really not so much a hack as it is a presentation framework to help you get right down to the nut of a client problem or opportunity.

And it can be used the very first time you present to a prospect, even with limited client insights.

Here’s how.

Let’s say you’re presenting to a large company that has expressed interest in podcasting.

Rather than taking a traditional “here are our capabilities” approach, and knowing you only have a brief moment to capture and keep the attention of very busy people, blow past your capabilities and your yada yada yadas about your media brand(s) and go right for a Business Case story.

Here would be the “chapters” of that story:

  1. Title: The Business Case for a Podcast
  2. Podcasting is Hot (gather supporting factoids in splashy graphic form)
  3. Brands Need an Audio Strategy (Plenty of trade articles on this)
  4. Relevant case studies (c’mon you can find some)
  5. Our Process**
  6. If Your Situation Was This… (an educated guess on their objectives)
  7. Our Solution Would Be…(a hot idea that follows the “Our Process” steps)
  8. Proposed Elements and Cost Estimates
  9. Discussion and Next Steps

There you have it. Nine slides (chapters) for a big concept pitch that can win the hearts and minds of tough-minded decision makers who’ve seen it all.

So boiling this all down…making a Business Case presentation consists of:

  • Gathering up and presenting Industry Trends/Insights in a compelling manner
  • Framing up a need for taking action
  • Sharing Relevant Case Studies to establish credibility
  • Outlining a Process** (See below)
  • Taking a Stab at Defining The Client Situation (this can be educated guessing)
  • Offering a Trial Balloon Solution (what have you got to lose…you can always pivot!)
  • Discussion and Next Steps (this is where the pivoting would take place)

** Sharing “Our Process” is the real hook of a Business Case presentation as, indeed, it shows you mean business.

And I know I keep beating this drum with media sellers but, dang it:

PROCESS. WILL. SET. YOU. APART.

Here’s how I’d frame a “Process” for that presentation (really, for any Business Casepresentation):

Our Process:

1. identify a Specific Need or Want (the more focused the better)
2. Earn an Assignment with a Budget (Based on KPIs that matter to the company)
3. Establish Specific KPIs for this Assignment
4. Propose a Bold Idea that will resonate with the Target and deliver on the KPIs

So the next time you’re preparing a big presentation…and even if you’re flying blind…skip your capabilities and your media brand spiel and give the important and time-starved prospect what they really want and need right upfront:

Business Case for working with you.

Or, to put it another way, and with apologies to Roxette:

“Don’t Bore Us…Get To The Chorus.”

Cheers, Jim