Selling Ideas to the C-Level Executives
Do you have ideas that could benefit your company and its employees, but are having a hard time being heard? Today more than ever before, time is at a premium. Getting an executive to listen to and evaluate your suggestions may be difficult, so it's crucial to be well-prepared when you finally have his or her attention. Here are a few pointers on how to effectively present your ideas to C-level executives.
First, come in as prepared as possible for any direction the conversation could go. Do your research. You'll need to know what you're talking about in order to be persuasive and prove your idea makes good financial sense.
Next, have a clear goal in mind for the discussion and stick to it. Are you trying to get final approval? Or are you just introducing an idea? Knowing your goal will allow you to build a direct and pointed argument for your cause. Non-essential facts and details may waste time, jumble your message, and create unnecessary confusion.
Now, take that argument and make it succinct. Summarize your idea in a few clear sentences, saving time and avoiding any unnecessary details. Clearly explain the problem and then how you propose to solve it.
Next, describe how the idea would be beneficial to the company. Measure what there is to gain against any costs, like capital and time. Executives want what's best for the company and will always listen to new ideas that can improve productivity and efficiency as long as the return is worth the investment. Finally, look sharp and act professionally. Your face and demeanor is what they'll associate with your idea. Even subconsciously, execs are more likely to trust someone who comes off confident and on the ball, so dress for the occasion, stand up straight, and go for it.
For more information on how to get HR a seat at the table with other business leaders, visit Paychex Worx.