The Napkin Presentation

Randy Vlasic, Franchise Owner of BlueGrace ORD is a funny dude. We certainly get a kick out of his random calls, Tweets or phone calls. Last week, we were in for a surprise. As we were connecting with our network on Twitter, we saw that Randy posted an image of his Napkin Presentation. He met with a client earlier that day and connected with them on an entirely different level. This was an instance where the client relationship reigned in the moment. Had he broken out a PowerPoint or even a video, he probably wouldn’t have had the same impact as he did with this drawing. What we can learn from Randy’s napkin presentation:

I. Don’t rely on technology to engage with your customers: Face-to-Face Meetings are always the best. It’s important to recognize an opportunity to get in front of your customer. Technology can feel impersonal if it’s all you rely on. Can’t visit? Pick up the phone and have a chat.

II. Have a good time discussing business. According to Randy, THEY LAUGHED THE ENTIRE TIME. If you truly love what you do then this will come naturally. Don’t let the conversation run dry. Remember Core Value #1: Be Happy & Have Fun. Your customers will notice.

III. Don’t Force Creativity you don’t need to have excellent drawing skills (just ask Randy). But getting your message across in a way that is digestible and engaging is important. Be prepared, but don’t rehearse your entire conversation.

Going into the napkin presentation, he already knew what lanes he was proposing to run, prepared for it and going into it with rounded rates.

He went in completely prepared to give one of the best presentations. With freight spend in mind, and showing how to save time and money– he calculated about $130K in savings! The Napkin Presentation is a great way to show value and it breaks the ice when you’re drawing elementary like pictures for an adult conversation, people laughed at how bad the drawings were, but they LOVED the detail they were given about their business.

The Napkin Presentation helps build credibility for the customer. You’re directly showing them what they’re spending and what they could potentially save with a powerful partner like BlueGrace instead versus the competition.

Randy’s strategy is adding BG in the mix and showing their current situation with their existing process and provider, cost savings we could provide, and consolidation.

Good interaction with the customer gives them something to hold on to and to see. If you keep your customer laughing all through the presentation, you know you’re driving the conversation. Here’s an example of how you can showcase your own hand-drawn-Napkin Presentation:

The Napkin Presentation by Randy Vlasic, BG ORD Franchise Owner

1. Start with an unhappy face stick figure and give him a name. List the process of using all the carriers, companies and loads. (Randy drew all trucks, 5 different companies and 5 loads)

2. Show the business owner emailing all the load tenders to the carrier. Show the carrier responding “yes or no.” and somehow show the back and forth conundrum when a company has to decide what provider to go with.

3. Show what the business has to do to manage their own loads with 4 labeled plates (ie: audit invoicing, tracking and tracing, importing and consolidation, etc.) This process is time consuming so your customers will relate.

4. Show your customers the benefits of working with BlueGrace and start with a happy stick figure. Label your benefits in no more than two plates like he did in the above example (ie: “Consolidation” and “Import”). Whatever the benefits are for fitting the situation but keep it simple.

“My customers laugh the whole time. I want to give my customers something to remember.”

Teach your customers about what other companies don’t want them to know. Give them a reason to laugh and have a good time. Business meetings aren’t expected to be fun, but if you can lighten the mood it adds value to the customer relationship. The Napkin Presentation is more than just stick figures, you’re providing and entire proposal in front of a prospect without a stack of boring paperwork.


For more information on The Napkin Presentation fill out the form below to contact Randy Vlasic, Franchise Owner of BG ORD.


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