Getting the meeting is step one.
Whether you reached out to them, or the community came to you looking for new management, you've managed to score a meeting to make your presentation to the board. Now it's time to prepare your pitch.
A pitch deck is a sales presentation (in Powerpoint, Prezi, Sway, or even a printed brochure) in which you present the selling points of your company, and explain why the board should choose you to manage their community association over your competitors.
Your pitch deck is your introduction, your elevator pitch, your sales brochure and your proposal all wrapped up into one visual presentation. A good pitch makes the difference between winning a contract, and losing to the other guy. But no pressure.
We pored through more than 50 pitch decks and sales presentations from Community Association management companies, rental property management companies, commercial real estate managers and tech startups to determine the key components of a great pitch deck.
We're going to share with you our takeaways of the primary components you need to include in your pitch deck, and we've also created a sample pitch deck for you to use as a jumping off point to create your own sales presentation.
1) Short and Sweet
Unlike most management company pitch decks we reviewed, silicon valley startup pitch decks are significantly shorter. In fact, they average only 12 slides! Many of these decks are for companies that are publicly traded today, or were able to attract multi-million dollar investments. It simply proves that you don't need to put everything and the kitchen sink into your presentation.
All of your niche service options and price quotes and caveats of what you don't do can wait. Save that for future discussions, when the board is ready to meet you at the negotiating table. Keep your presentation short and sweet and you'll instantly stand head and shoulders above the competition.
2) Build Trust
You are asking this condo or homeowners association to trust you with their future - which could involve millions of dollars. So it goes without saying that you should work hard to be trustworthy in their eyes. There are several ways you can build trust with your sales presentation:
Display confidence - Confidence is the most important thing you can personally do to build trust. Stand up when you give your presentation so you convey more authority. Wear a suit, or business clothes to show you take this seriously. Speak confidently and project when you are speaking. Try to avoid filler words like um, eh, well, and so.
Professional presentation - Your presentation is the visual representation of your company. Even if you are a one-person show, your presentation can help make you look big-time. It should look professional, with high end photos and clear, easy to understand language. Avoid cluttering it with too much text or unnecessary illustrations. Stick to a color scheme that portrays confidence and stability, such as navy blue, dark green, or dark teal.
Social Proof - Social proof is a way of demonstrating to your audience that others have trusted you in the past, and been rewarded for it. It's a subtle, but very effective way to build trust. One way to demonstrate social proof is to showcase other clients you have worked with (that they might be familiar with). Another is testimonials of clients or vendors who have worked with you. Another option is to pull back the curtain a bit on the size of your portfolio by sharing how many clients, doors, or residents are currently in your company's care. Even something as simple as a picture of your team with a brief bio can be a trust builder.
3) Solve Problems
One of the most important things you can do before you give a pitch is visit the community and talk to your board sponsor (that one person on the board who called you in for the meeting). Learn as much as you can about the problems the community is experiencing.
Remember that the board brought you into the room for a reason - they have a problem and they are looking for a solution. It's up to you to uncover what that is and prove that you are the best solution for them - every other service you offer is gravy - feel free to talk about it for the oohs and awws, but stay focused on the meat and potatoes, because that's why you are there in the first place.
4) Tell a Story
The most effective pitches tell a story, not about the history of your company, but about the community, which is the true hero of your story. Your presentation should follow the same setup as if you were creating the next Harry Potter novels:
Introduction: introduces the characters
Mission Statement: defines the goal, the final destination of the hero
Social Proof: justification that the hero is on the right path
Your Team: the individuals who will assist the hero on their journey
Problems: the pain points the hero is experiencing
Solutions: how your solution will help the hero overcome their troubles
Technology: the actual process the hero will use to win the day
Conclusion & Questions: filling in the details of the story
Next Steps: where the story goes next
We've created a sample pitch deck that you can customize with your company, content and more. It covers all of the above bases, but the most important part of any presentation is you, the presenter. Be sure to practice, practice, practice! It really does make a difference in the delivery!