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Tailor your pitch to the boss’s style

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in Career Management,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Workplace Communication

Feel like your ideas are falling on deaf ears? Maybe it's your sales pitch, not the proposal.

Half of all sales presentations don't fit the decision-maker's style, says research firm Miller-Williams Inc.

The executives Miller-Williams studied fall into five different models:

  • Followers
  • Charismatics
  • Skeptics
  • Thinkers
  • Controllers

The facts alone won't persuade: Tailor your presentations to your boss's decision-making style.

They key to selling your idea is to keep in mind the central benefit to your audience. That is what will make or break your sale. If this point gets lost, your idea won’t get approved – no matter how strategically you’ve packaged it.

Focus your "pitch" with these tactics:

Show the way. More than a third of the executives surveyed base decisions on similar choices made in the past. But those "followers" need a winning strategy: Present case studies from other industries.

Bottom-line it. Package your proposal for a short attention span. Provide an executive summary using visual aids and follow up with a detailed report to answer later. Miller-Williams says that's a good tactic for "charismatics."

Enlist support. The best person to present your idea might be another executive the boss admires. About one in five executives are "skeptics," but responsive to those they respect.

Prepare, but don't push the "thinkers," who will ask many questions, and the "controllers," who need to reach a decision themselves.

Final Note: If you don't prepare your pitch based on the decision-maker's style, you'll waste time and effort.

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