Performance marketing insights, discussions and expertise

Selling to Internal Decision Makers – A Marketer’s Guide

By on July 2, 2012

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From seeking approval for increased headcount to expanding the budget, all marketers face the challenge of getting a “Yes” from internal decision makers. Understanding the common reasons “No” is often a more popular response will help you better prepare and persuade leadership to approve your requests.

In this series, we’ll look at key, often overlooked elements to woo decision makers.

Two Sides
One of the most common reasons a good (even a great) idea gets shot down by the boss is a failure to articulate both the Whys and the Hows for your request. Both are critical factors in gaining approval.

Most people focus on the Whys – justifying whatever it is they’re pitching. While you might be able to define and document the many reasons you need another resource, if you don’t explain how to fulfill your request, you’ll probably still get a no. Visa versa, sometimes a solid plan of How is presented but the Whys are understated, leaving the executive wondering the reason for the request in the first place.

Whys: Make it Matter

Clearly stating why you need or want a proposed solution is always an important step in getting approval.  While it might be easy for you to see the many reasons your marketing efforts would benefit from an additional resource, you need to show this to your executive. This is especially true when an executive is removed from the day-to-day operations with a minimal view of the issues facing her/his team.

Take into consideration things that matter to the executives; how will your proposal benefit the department and the company as a whole? What will this free your team up to focus on? How will your productivity increase? If you can point to specific metrics or ROI that will improve, include them. Discuss how your proposal will alleviate pain points. Think beyond the scope of what you see and make the solution matter.

Hows: Make it Easy

The second part of the equation is addressing How your request will be fulfilled. Start constructing this part of your presentation by going through the basics like your timeline, how your request will be funded, and what the implementation process will look like. You’ll also want to consider issues like how you’ll meet the needs of other stakeholders and how the company will recoup its initial investment.

As you do this, keep in mind the priorities of the decision makers. They are likely going to be weighing out things like the time implementation will take away from other priorities. Your plan of How should make it easy to say yes – take the leg work out of it for decision makers by presenting a complete plan.

Join us as we continue this discussion in the coming days by digging deeper into focusing on Whys that matter and formulating an easy to approve plan of How.

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