Your corporate proposition is effectively the product or opportunity that you’re offering to companies – think of it as a new business focussed theory of change that gets you in the door with your top prospects. A good proposition can make or break a potential partnership, so getting it right is crucial. Here are our 5 key recommendations for nailing yours:
- Find your magic ingredient
The magic ingredient is the part of your presentation that will stay with the room long after you’ve left it and make your pitch more memorable than any they’ve seen before. A great example of a magic ingredient is the Alzheimer’s Research orange, which you can watch here. We believe every charity can find their own ingredient that makes them stand out. Age UK, for example, started a pitch by asking the audience to taste two glasses of wine – a vintage wine, and a new bottle. Everyone preferred the vintage wine. So they said “Isn’t it interesting with things such as wine, cheese, cars and works of art, the older they get the more we value them, but we’re not like that with people. That’s why we are meeting with you today. With the right amount of creativity, finding your magic ingredient will elevate your pitches to a whole new level.
- Tell a powerful story
We recently worked with a medium-sized charity who weren’t telling stories when they met with companies. Their rationale for not telling stories is because their cause isn’t emotive enough. We encouraged them to try it anyway and the stories they shared brought tears to our eyes. Now they are sharing stories when they pitch to their most important corporate prospects and it helping the win partnerships! We encourage you to do the same. Find your best stories and share them with emotion.
- Pitch the gap
After demonstrating the power of your work, one of the strongest moves you can make is to admit that you can’t reach everyone who needs your help, because you have limited resources. We call this ‘pitching the gap’. A powerful example of this comes from CHAS (Children’s Hospices Across Scotland), who tell potential corporate partners that they are currently only reaching 1 out of every 3 children with a life shortening condition who need their help. Senior executive in companies are brilliant problem solvers – so offering them the opportunity to solve such an emotive problem is almost impossible for them to resist.
- Create urgency
With a strong hook established, you need to spur the prospect to make a move quickly. In a world of increasingly competing priorities, you need to have a reason for companies to get involved nowrather than later. Changing Faces, for example, are doing this particularly well with their ‘Pledge To Be Seen’ initiative. They are calling on companies and brands to represent more people with a visible difference by signing the pledge before Face Equality Week in May 2020. So they are giving companies a deadline to get involved, which is injecting urgency into their meetings with companies.
- Be concise
Finally, knowing that the average person has a 12-minute attention span, we recommend you keep your proposition as short as possible. Even though it is tempting, we recommend you don’t include every detail of your charity’s history and services. You could send them a one page summary in a separate email. Senior executives in companies are time poor, so less is definitely more.
Your proposition is one of the most powerful tools for creating corporate partnerships. So making making it stronger and more inspirational will increase your confidence and capability to secure meetings. If you’d like to talk to us about how we could help you create your proposition, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org