Duncan on Presentations: product passion is the key

One of my roles at West One is Head of Sales. As well as building on existing strategic partnerships, this includes discovering new business relationships, outside of the usual introducer panel. This week I was invited to pitch our services to a large UK based accountancy practice. MacIntyre Hudson is currently placed at number 19 in the world with an annual turnover of £32m across 42 UK partners. They offer services in Advice and Planning, Audit and Assurance, Business Strategy, Corporate Finance, Corporate Recovery, Financial Training, Fraud and Financial Investigations and Wealth Management, across an array of sectors. My goal was to introduce all products West One has to offer, to as many partners as possible.

Standing up and pitching to a room full of senior partners is not necessarily one of my core strengths nor is it something I thrive off of. However, given my experience in the industry and my deep understanding of the nature of the marketplace, I was fully capable of rising to the challenge. The session began by running our brand video on the big screen. This 60 second clip summarises our business and key values and is a great ice breaker to get everyone warmed up.

I then went on to explain what we do and what West One has to offer. The best way to demonstrate this is through case studies. These tend to alert individuals as to where we might have some mutual ground because they can relate to these real life examples. Before opening up the floor to questions, I concluded on how I felt MacIntyre Hudson as a firm could work together with West One and how we could support them best. Key opportunities included raising capital for clients in need of short term finance, using an asset to raise money to fund a tax liability and providing funds for client expansion.

The audience were encouraged to interact during the Q&A session. I was asked very relevant questions and the partners picked up on items that were valuable to them. I enjoyed being questioned and challenged on my knowledge – this is something that comes more naturally to me than reading off a screen.

I was very happy with the outcome of the meeting and have received positive feedback and keen interest. It has made me realize that you should step out of your comfort zone once in a while, because if you know what you’re talking about and have a passion and enthusiasm for it, there is no need to feel intimidated by a room full of bright and highly powered professionals. If your product offering is of real value, you should shout about it. I am confident this will lead to new opportunities and exposure in good areas for the business.

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