Ideas...for helping investment managers win and retain assets
Ideas...for helping investment managers win and retain assets
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Making Effective Presentations: Focus on Preparation
November 2019

This Ideas article focused on the biggest audience chemistry builder there is...what EDH refers to as one of the “Stealth P’s” – gaining an advantage over the competition via superior Preparation.

Preparation is what you do to maximize your chances of success from the time you get the call that you are in an important presentation to the time you walk in the door to make that presentation.

Preparation is chemistry-builder #1 because customizing emphasis/delivery to prospect needs/preferences is a sign of respect. It shows you listen and care. It signals what type of client service to expect. In many finals, the die is cast before the presenters even show up. The manager who, before the finals, best clarifies a prospect's issues has the upper hand. These clarifications allow good presenters to relate verbal comments to the prospect's situation and demonstrate empathy. The industry trend to more non-standard mandates makes good preparation even more important.

The first challenge is finding the time to prepare. People say they can’t find the time. But consider a finals competition for $60MM at a 50 basis point fee. In this example, the net present value of the revenue opportunity is over $3.6MM. Looked at this way, it’s hard to think of anything more important than taking the time to prepare well.

Following are a few of the questions you should be asking in advance of important presentations:

  • Why is the search taking place? Concerns and “hot buttons” can vary a lot if it’s a first-time allocation to the asset class versus replacing an underperforming manager
  • Are there any opinions/concerns with the asset class/role? That tie to prior bad experiences? That tie to questions about the market environment?
  • What is it about us that got us included? It’s good to know what they like about you so you can reinforce it
  • Are there any concerns about us? If so you need to know what they are and address them
  • Who is competing? Maybe they’ll tell you maybe they won’t. But it’s always good to know so you can compare strengths and weaknesses

Although the merits of asking these questions are obvious, consultants tell EDH that 2/3rds of investment managers aren’t doing this. You’ll never get a better example of a marketing and sales inefficiency than this. The old approach of presenters deciding whose going to cover what in the cab on the way there and showing up cold is still going on!

So how do you exploit this? Develop a set of mandatory questions to discuss with either the consultant or asset owner prior to important presentations. The five questions we just went over are only a starting point.

After you’ve gotten good feedback, at or above some threshold level of potential revenue, mandatory internal planning meetings make sense. Meetings may include representatives from consultant relations, CRM. product management, sales, and/or portfolio management and can cover the following agenda:

  • Review pre-meeting intelligence: What are the prospect’s critical selection factors? Is any other information needed?
  • Identify and list your strengths and weaknesses: Versus competitors in the space and in this competition
  • Develop a specific positioning strategy: Given what we know about an asset owner’s needs, preferences and concerns what should we emphasize in our presentation?

The final preparation steps are to customize content and delivery based on your positioning strategy and to rehearse in advance. Altogether, this preparation roadmap will give your firm an edge when the big day comes!

Join Our Mailing List
Name*:
Title:
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Email*:
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  *required field
Making Effective Presentations: Focus on Preparation
November 2019

This Ideas article focused on the biggest audience chemistry builder there is...what EDH refers to as one of the “Stealth P’s” – gaining an advantage over the competition via superior Preparation.

Preparation is what you do to maximize your chances of success from the time you get the call that you are in an important presentation to the time you walk in the door to make that presentation.

Preparation is chemistry-builder #1 because customizing emphasis/delivery to prospect needs/preferences is a sign of respect. It shows you listen and care. It signals what type of client service to expect. In many finals, the die is cast before the presenters even show up. The manager who, before the finals, best clarifies a prospect's issues has the upper hand. These clarifications allow good presenters to relate verbal comments to the prospect's situation and demonstrate empathy. The industry trend to more non-standard mandates makes good preparation even more important.

The first challenge is finding the time to prepare. People say they can’t find the time. But consider a finals competition for $60MM at a 50 basis point fee. In this example, the net present value of the revenue opportunity is over $3.6MM. Looked at this way, it’s hard to think of anything more important than taking the time to prepare well.

Following are a few of the questions you should be asking in advance of important presentations:

  • Why is the search taking place? Concerns and “hot buttons” can vary a lot if it’s a first-time allocation to the asset class versus replacing an underperforming manager
  • Are there any opinions/concerns with the asset class/role? That tie to prior bad experiences? That tie to questions about the market environment?
  • What is it about us that got us included? It’s good to know what they like about you so you can reinforce it
  • Are there any concerns about us? If so you need to know what they are and address them
  • Who is competing? Maybe they’ll tell you maybe they won’t. But it’s always good to know so you can compare strengths and weaknesses

Although the merits of asking these questions are obvious, consultants tell EDH that 2/3rds of investment managers aren’t doing this. You’ll never get a better example of a marketing and sales inefficiency than this. The old approach of presenters deciding whose going to cover what in the cab on the way there and showing up cold is still going on!

So how do you exploit this? Develop a set of mandatory questions to discuss with either the consultant or asset owner prior to important presentations. The five questions we just went over are only a starting point.

After you’ve gotten good feedback, at or above some threshold level of potential revenue, mandatory internal planning meetings make sense. Meetings may include representatives from consultant relations, CRM. product management, sales, and/or portfolio management and can cover the following agenda:

  • Review pre-meeting intelligence: What are the prospect’s critical selection factors? Is any other information needed?
  • Identify and list your strengths and weaknesses: Versus competitors in the space and in this competition
  • Develop a specific positioning strategy: Given what we know about an asset owner’s needs, preferences and concerns what should we emphasize in our presentation?

The final preparation steps are to customize content and delivery based on your positioning strategy and to rehearse in advance. Altogether, this preparation roadmap will give your firm an edge when the big day comes!

Join Our Mailing List
Name*:
Title:
Organization*:
Email*:
Phone*:
  *required field