For many people, there is one mistake tripping up their influence efforts and causing decision makers to reject their otherwise great ideas and proposals. And it’s something totally avoidable. So, what is this big mistake we’re talking about?
Focusing on Yourself = Big Mistake
Focusing your proposal or pitch on yourself, your department, your team, or your needs is the big mistake we’re talking about here. And while it’s easy to make this mistake, we have some good news for you: It’s easy to fix.
Easily Increase Your Odds of Success
Decision makers are significantly more likely to say yes to your proposal when it centers on their concerns, their considerations, and their needs. Before you propose anything, do your due diligence and be aware of what’s important and of value to the decision maker. When you link your proposal to those considerations, you increase your chances of getting a yes.
Here’s an Example
What not to say: “I can’t get work out the door on time because of the delays with our vendor parts shipments. Can we switch to another vendor who can help me meet my schedule?” This is all about your failure or success and not the decision maker’s or the organization’s. Here’s what to do instead…
Instead try: “For a few months now our vendor’s late parts deliveries have been hurting on-time delivery on our end. And that’s causing our whole organization’s reputation to take a dive. Customers are complaining and threatening to go elsewhere. I’d like to talk with you about switching next quarter to another parts vendor that’s reasonably priced, and is known industry-wide for their fast delivery and highly-rated product.”
Shift the Spotlight and Make It Easy
When you shift the spotlight away from you, giving your pitch a broader organizational focus that the decision maker is invested in, it becomes much more compelling. What might seem obvious to you — that your proposal is not only focused on improving things for you and your team, it will improve things for the whole company, your customers, your partners, etc. — is often not obvious unless spelled out and communicated clearly.
When it comes to influence, you have to connect the dots for your audience. Why? Because organizational life is moving at what can feel like the speed of light. Decision makers have many proposals and pitches vying for their attention, and the easier you make it for them to see the value of your proposals, the easier it is for them to say yes.
Use This Checklist
Tip: Use this checklist to tailor your pitch to the decision maker.
More Influence Tips
Download our ebook, 5 Influence Mistakes That Hold You Back at Work — And How to Avoid Them — it’s free when you subscribe to the blog. The tools and tips in this book are immediately useful and applicable and can help you improve your influence outcomes right away. The tools and tips in the book are from our popular Influence Roadmap® program which trains leaders to influence in every situation from high stakes presentations to daily interactions.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Nokuro