You are a hot social media startup and you need to sell your product to conservative, old-fashioned, traditional media publishers. What sales deck to use?

Here are the points that are usually emphasised in draft presentations that I see:

  • We are cool, you are not
  • "Social", "mobile" is eating the world, you are on the menu

Firstly, there is a good change that the people in the traditional media company you are speaking to already understand this (their bosses might not). Secondly, it is a bit offensive to put it that bluntly in people's face.

There are a number of other questions the media dinosaur might have which will be very important to close the sale:

  • Is this a financially stable company or will they go bankrupt tomorrow?
  • Are these people serious business partners, or just playing kids?
  • We might be uncool, but we still have 100 years of editorial integrity invested in our brand, will we throw that out of the window when working with you?
  • Is your product actually easy to use, how does it work day-to-day?
  • I like these guys, but how am I going to convince my boss?
  • I can see that all this stuff is interesting for 15 to 25 year olds, our readers are 45+

Even if your product is cool, you still need to show that you are a serious business partner. Spending all your slides on the obvious is a waste of the sales meeting.


Art: Ferdinand Lured by Ariel is a painting by John Everett Millais which depicts an episode from Act I, Scene II of Shakespeare's play The Tempest