It’s almost impossible to find one sector of this economy that hasn’t been hurt or altered due to this market.
As many companies cut back on expenses and, in some instances, cut staff, how, as a successful professional, do you maintain your edge and ask for what your department needs without immediately seeing your request denied?
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Take, for example, your color copier. It’s on its last leg. You can tell it’s just moments away from breathing its last toner-infused gasp. By simply asking for a new copier you may or may not succeed—but a surefire way to sell the idea is by presenting it within a story. For instance:
1. Do you know another company (preferably a competitor) that uses the copier you’ve got your eye on? Ask your copy representative for names and phone numbers.
2. Gather “success” stories from those companies on how the copier has improved performance and perhaps saved money in the long run.
3. Present these in a story to your boss. Say, “Our copier is frequently down (quantify if possible)—causing us to run out to Kinko’s or go without until the tech can service it—costing us time (how much?), money (dollar amount?) and sanity. And even when the machine’s not down, its quality is not as crisp as the new X-Brand copier.”
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By presenting the negatives up front, your boss is aware that this is an issue.
Then say, “Recently I was speaking to Sarah at Y-Company, which has the new X-Brand copier. It enables them to print brochures in house rather than sending them out because the quality is that good! And it’s increased their productivity threefold, and increased revenue. Our department could really benefit from this. I’m certain the long-run performance and efficiency will offset the initial costs.”
You’ve sold your point effectively and by sharing an example, you’ve opened the boss’s eyes to the possibilities. Stories are great methods for getting what we want because they’re very visual.
Want to drive your point home? Want to sell your idea and yourself? Tell a tale, become a storyteller and see your words make an impact.
The Mastering Business Series includes 4 business-savy books to help you sharpen your skills:
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