Over the last few years we have been advocating using a tool called a one page talk sheet to communicate your business case for partnership. In fact, this tool is probably the most important tool you can use when on partner track (or if you want to get onto partnership track). In this blog post, we discuss what exactly is a one page talk sheet and how to construct it.

The challenge with a business case for partnership

Very often firms will ask you to write a war and peace document to submit your business case for partnership. Unfortunately war and peace style documents make it incredibly difficult to sell your partnership business case. The amount of sheer detail you are asked to provide makes it frankly impossible to highlight and easily communicate the really important parts of your business case.

Then when you have to present your business case for partnership you need to condense down a document into a 10-15 minute presentation. This becomes a thankless task.

It’s not just the formal pitches you need to do when on partnership track. It’s also the informal pitching or ‘consulting’ you do with your business case for partnership outside of any formal partner track process. How do you easily and succinctly get the key points across to partners so that they can easily remember them AND pitch your case to others. A 10+ page document with your business case for partnership clearly laid out is not going to cut it. If you are going to get your partners talking positively about you and your partnership business case, you need a way to simply communicate the key messages in your business case.

But, what if there was another way?

Over the last few years we have pioneered a really simple way of building and communicating a business case for partnership. When our clients have used this approach it becomes so much easier to:

  • informally pitch and consult with partners about the business case,
  • construct the business case submission document, and
  • pitch it at a partnership panel interview.

 

Use a one page talk sheet

We get our clients, from both Big 4 firms and small firms, to crystallise their business case onto a one page talk sheet. In fact this approach has become so successful that the one page talk sheet idea has often been adopted in a widespread manner in the Big 4 firms where we have introduced the method.

But this isn’t just any old one page document. After all you can fit in a large amount of words on an A4 piece of paper. No, this is where you crystallise your business case down to just 3-6 visuals and 3-6 short bullet points of text. This discipline forces you to become incredibly clear about the benefits of your business case. As a result it becomes much, much easier to then pitch and successfully communicate the commercial proposition of your business case for partnership to your partners.

 

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What typically is included in your one page talk sheet?

Of course, there are the basics such as your name and department. There is likely to be some or all of the following on your one page talk sheet:

  • Graphs of your practice’s revenue and profit margin for the last 3 years, projected for the next 1-3 years
  • Pie charts showing the split of revenue of your current practice against where it will be in 3 years time
  • Logos of key accounts
  • Your 1-sentence and 3-sentence sell
  • Your vision for your practice

Click here to download a professional designed template of a one page talk sheet you can use right now to recreate your own one page talk sheet in under 60 minutes.

Rules for creating your one page talk sheet

Firstly, your one page talk sheet is your own. Therefore, it needs to fit your personal requirements. However, these are some best practice rules which we recommend you follow:

  • The more visuals the better. Really limit the amount of text on the talk sheet. Visuals make it much easier to communicate the promise of your business case.
  • Include white space on the talk sheet so that the key messages ping out at you.
  • Limit jargon and interdepartmental abbreviations. The partners assessing your business case may not use your abbreviations.

Click here to download a professional designed template of a one page talk sheet you can use right now to recreate your own one page talk sheet in under 60 minutes.

How do I use a one page talk sheet?

Your one page talk sheet forms the basis of your written business case for partnership submission as well as the basis for your business case presentation at your partnership panel interview. It is also used as a talk sheet whenever you are talking about your business case with partners or key stakeholders. Click here to download a professional designed template of a one page talk sheet you can use right now to recreate your own one page talk sheet in under 60 minutes.

NEED HELP TO CREATE YOUR BUSINESS CASE FOR PARTNERSHIP?

What's included in the FREE guide:

1. Extracts from real and successful business cases for partnership

2. How to structure your business case for maximum impact

3. What questions your business case needs to answer

Click here for more information about the guide

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