Five Tips for Selling Your Ideas to Senior Management

You may have the best idea in the world, but if you can’t persuade senior managers to buy into it, you’ll never have the opportunity to implement it.

Over my career in supplier consulting and manufacturing, I’ve seen plenty of good ideas crash and burn in front of decision-makers. In fact, I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t happened to me a few times. At this point, however, I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t when presenting a business solution.

There are five keys to selling your ideas to senior management, and they work no matter what restrictions on format, length and time you may face.

However, before you start planning your pitch, make sure your idea is solid and that management isn’t going to view it as coming out of left field. Here’s how to make the most convincing case possible for your proposal.

1. Set the Stage and Grab Their Attention

The unfortunate reality is that many senior managers spend their days going from one meeting to another, sitting through one presentation after another. To sell your ideas, you need to break through “meeting hypnosis” that can result when a senior manager has spent too much time in conference rooms.

How do you do this? Fireworks aren’t necessary. The secret is to define up front what you’ll cover and why. You should open the curtain on your message just enough to ensure they’re paying attention.

You need to provide enough clarity and spark enough interest that you don’t come off like a Southern California meteorologist with a ho-hum forecast of yet another sunny day.

2. Dig Into Their Needs — But Only the Ones Your Solution Will Solve

Senior managers have plenty of worries they’re wrestling with. Make sure you understand what needs they care about and which of them your solution will…continue reading article

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