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Selling your Project to Executives

Sometimes we have an idea for a project that we know is valuable and of benefit to the organization, but we can’t get it started. It seems no one is interested. In talking with clients, I often find that those great ideas don’t move forward because they haven’t sold the idea to the purse holder – the executives.

Selling a project to executives looks differently than selling to others in the organization. When we sell our project to executives, we focus on the bottom line. How does the project reduce costs? Improve efficiencies? Increase revenue? Improve profitability? Executives care about the bottom line – therefore, your project must address the bottom line in a positive way.

For example, if I believe our benefits in an organization need to be improved, I wouldn’t focus on the fact that employees are complaining about the benefits. Rather, I may focus on how our benefit package is not competitive and therefore hinders our ability to attract and retain top talent. This is a bottom line impact. If I cannot attract and retain top talent, the organization can’t compete effectively. That top talent moves over to the competition!

Consider also the organization’s strategic plan. Projects help to achieve the strategic plan. Does your project help to move the organization closer to achieving a strategic goal? Or, maybe there is a challenge or problem in the business that should be addressed. Does your project help to solve that problem? Moving closer to achieving a strategic goal or solving a problem in the business are both bottom line impacts.

The next time you have an idea for a project, consider how that project will have a positive bottom line impact on the organization and get buy-in by focusing on that bottom line impact.

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