Getting Your Boss To Buy In

Tips to Help in Convincing Decision Makers.


You’ve got a great idea for your boss, but how do you convince them to seize on this great opportunity? Here are some ways you can convince your boss to implement your idea, benefiting the company, your boss, and your reputation.

Think Like Your Boss

Whether you’re selling a product to a client or persuading your boss to try a new service, it’s critical to understand their mindset. What are their goals and concerns? Whenever possible, scout ahead and determine what they are looking for and reasons why they may not want to do things your way. Frame things in a way that shows them you are seeking something that will help them meet their goals regardless of whether it concerns clients or employees. For example, you might say, “I know you’re trying to improve employee morale and attract new employees while keeping within the company budget. I’ve done some research and found solutions for you.” When you let your boss know you have benefits for them, it will get their attention, particularly if it’s a problem they have been struggling with.

Use Specific Terms

Facts, Facts, Facts: Your boss needs to see facts, not theories. Match your proposal with your boss’ goals and strategies; and specify how your proposal will help meet them. Don’t just tell your boss that your proposal is the best thing since the Internet—give them examples. If you’re lobbying for extra breaks for employees or extra benefits, give them facts on how this will improve efficiency and employee morale. Your boss has to consider the company budget for any proposal so explain why your idea is going to be worth the investment (and if you can show how the investment can pay for itself in the short-term or long-term, even better).  For example, this explanation of a staff retention plan breaks things down and also provides statistics to explain why it works:

In a coconut shell, this is a staff retention plan that works by offering travel incentives and perks to your staff. For every month they stay with you, your employee accumulates travel dollars. After one month, they can start to cash in their travel dollars or keep on accumulating them. (Employees always have the option to ‘top up’ by paying for the additional costs of a more expensive trip.) Think of it as a loyalty plan for your employees.


Use Proven Examples

If you’re going to present something to your boss, treat it as you would any other business project—do your research and find evidence to support your position such as case studies or examples from other industries. Show your boss how your idea has worked for other companies and they will be more likely to consider your idea. Facts are essential to persuading someone, but when you combine facts with case studies, they can make the difference from an uncertainty to an enthusiastic approval.

For example, you might share this review and recommendation by a business that used Stafits’ benefits package:

So much better than what I expected. The food service industry has always been a hard industry in which to hire. So when developing and opening a new concept eatery I knew I was facing an uphill battle when it comes to hiring. Having a Stafits plan in my back pocket to offer candidates proved so much more appealing then I would have ever imagined. Candidates eyes just lit up when I described the benefit and perk platform we provided through Stafits. Since we’ve opened I see how motivated my team is and how much hype there is around Stafits, I know this plan will be a big help when we start our planned expansion in the future.

-Riley McGee General Manager at Adam’s Burger Bar

You might also include the results of a study by the Aberdeen Group on the direct effects of retention benefits:

Companies with an employee engagement program enjoy 233% greater customer loyalty

Employee engagement programs help companies enjoy 26% greater annual increase in revenue

Build Up Your Base

There’s strength in numbers so build up a consensus with your team to get everyone on board with your proposal. Explain your proposal to them and your goal for implementing it. Your team may have some suggestions on how to approach your boss, making your proposal even more appealing.

Approach with a Strong Reputation

If your boss sees you as an average or mediocre employee, they’re less likely to hear your ideas. Make sure you approach your boss from a position of good standing. In certain cases, it may be preferable to have someone else from your team make the proposal, particularly if they have a good rapport and reputation with the boss.

Make Your Idea Urgent

Capitalize on what’s known as FOMO aka “fear of missing out.” This may sound counterintuitive as the fear of the unknown sometimes keeps people from trying something new. However, let your boss know your idea is on the cutting-edge and it’s something they will benefit from by taking advantage of it before the competition does.

Suggest a Low-Cost Experiment

In some cases, your boss may be willing to give things a trial run. They might consider a low-cost experiment where they utilize your suggestion as a beta test or something similar. In some cases, you can make this easier for your boss because your idea my come with a free trial or an introductory price. If so, make sure you present this as a win-win situation.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for persuading your boss, tips are a good way to start by putting your presentation on a solid foundation. Share you own experiences and let us know if you have any other suggestions that are helpful.

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