Unlocking Real Value Blog

How To Win A Finals Presentation

In today’s increasingly competitive institutional marketplace, where the number of overall searches has declined over the past few years, and it has become harder and harder for many managers to differentiate themselves from the competition, it’s more important than ever to take full advantage of every new business opportunity that you are presented with. Getting to a finals presentation is hard enough, but there are several keys to winning the finals once you are there.

(This is from a presentation I gave last week at IMI’s Consultant Congress in San Francisco; while it is geared toward money management firms, many of the concepts can be used in any finals presentation – including those with high net worth individuals.)

Click here to see my Top 10 List – Winning the Solutions-Oriented Finals (I’m no David Letterman, but I try!)

A few highlights:

Conventional wisdom used to be that you always brought either the portfolio manager or principal with you to a finals presentation. In my opinion, however, this notion has changed. Who you bring to the finals should depend on the client and what your research and the consultant tell you are the prospects hot buttons. Sure, if it is a stock-picking firm, it might be prudent to bring one of the portfolio managers. But if the prospect has bad client experiences, of example, and is more interested in meeting the people that they will be interacting with on a regular basis, then that should dictate your choice of presenters. This is especially the case if the manager or principal is not a very good presenter!

The above point is only one of many of the top ten which are linked by the reality that your chances of winning are much better if you do your research upfront and make the presentation as customized and personal to the prospect as possible. Even the simple gesture of putting their logo next to yours on the cover of the presentation shows effort on your part.

A few of the old conventional wisdom’s about finals presentations have not changed however. Never talk about or bad mouth the competition – this should be about you not them. And don’t forget – you have to ask for the business at the end. Let them know how important this mandate is to your firm – you can be sure that your competition will.

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