Communication Consulting

Case Studies

This client is a large Japanese advertising firm, with branch offices in most major business center around the world. However these branch offices were mainly designed to support the local management of global advertising sold by the home office in Japan to Japanese customers. In recent years, due to the declining population in Japan and subsequent decrease in local business, the company made a strategic decision to pursue high profile foreign business opportunities in an effort to broaden their sales channels and manage their cash-flow risk.

Project

This client set a sales objective to win a contract to do all the marketing, promotion, advertising and event management for a global trade show. The value of the business at stake was several million dollars. But the high profile nature of the project meant that the winner of the business could expect many follow-on sales.

Since the competition for this business was expected to be very tough, the client felt that their presentation material could benefit from professional and objective evaluation and revision. Additionally, they felt that the presenters’ delivery and chance of success could be improved by a critical review and one-to-one intensive coaching.

Solution

Two senior consultants and one executive coach worked both on site and virtually on this project. The project began with a strategic analysis of the context in which the presentation would be made. This included the following areas:

  • Culture: Both the culture of the target audience and the culture of the presenter were analyzed to identify assumptions and communication style differences which could potentially undermine mutual understanding.
  • Competition: The team investigated the sales tactics and presentation styles of the major competitors who would be going after the same business opportunity. This enabled the team to create both an informed sales strategy and to prepare the presenter for the most likely objections and questions from the audience.
  • Customer: The team looked at the customer to understand their method of evaluating and selecting among competing options, their negotiation practices and decision-making process. Historical relationships were also checked to uncover any pre-existing commitments or preferences.

Presentation Material: The client requested the assistance of the consultants in the revision of all the presentation material to be used at the various sales meetings with the key decision makers. This included Powerpoint slides and printed documents. The team partnered with the client’s sales team to identify the stakeholder’s expectations, define their own objectives for each presentation and meeting, and structure the sales story to flow smoothly from beginning to end. They completely redesigned the presentation material and documentation to make the key message both memorable and persuasive.

Presentation Delivery: The executive coach recorded the presenter delivering both live presentations in front of other real audiences and in-house practice sessions. The video was used to identify opportunities for improvement and demonstrate these in a very real way to the presenter.  The most high impact delivery skills were prioritized and the coach created a practice environment in which the presenter could focus on one skill at a time over the course of several weeks until both presenter and coach were satisfied with the results.

A key reason for the success of the project was the inclusion of the consultants in key meetings involving the whole sales team. This involvement allowed the consultants to forge a strong partnership with the team and to create promotional materials that were appropriate for the company’s culture, project goals, and met the specific needs of the target audience.

Results

The client successfully won the business.

This post is also available in: Japanese