article | April 5, 2013
Four Ways to Sell the Boss on Your Idea
‘Yikes’. I thought as I sat in the conference room. “We have a long way to go to sell this idea to the boss. I am going to have to help Joe.”
Over 73% of all ideas are lost here. The buying process stage where the ‘influencer’ knows what the problem really is. The ‘influencer’ is in the stage: identify and involve other stakeholders. And the key stakeholder is always their boss. But how do I sell the boss on the solution to fix the problem? What ways can I prioritize this problem to solution in his eyes? How do I make sure he cares about it?
Download our Idea Preparation Checklist. It will get you ready to have that important conversation with the boss. You can create a business case or understand how to self- fund a project. Figure out if your competitors are ahead or if peers are outpacing you. And it can help navigate the political landscape.
There are four main ways to sell the boss on your idea:
Our client in the example above (Joe) lived these 4 actions real time. He was struggling getting the boss to understand the problem and endorse his solution. He first understood that although he gets paid on revenue his boss did not. Dave got compensated on revenue and EBITDA. Joe needed to show Dave the process can be self-funded through wasted resources. By painting this picture, Dave understood the story and realized EBITDA is affected. Then came the business case: Simple ROI analysis. But he advanced his idea with testimonials and case studies. And then Joe sealed it with a well thought adoption plan. A complex problem sold to his boss through simple actions.
Sales VPs struggle consistently with selling ideas to their boss. They especially get stalled in the critical step of identifying and involving stakeholders. Consensus across the organization is critical to progress through the buying process.
Call to Action:
Remember at this point in the process, anyone can stop the idea. Influencing them is critical to selling it. Repeat each one of the 4 steps above to move through the buying process with your team. Contact me here to help. Please leave a comment about other ways you have sold your idea to the boss.