Selling Improvements to Your Employer

Michele Warg
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As a salesperson on the front lines, you will likely come up with many ways the company can operate better. Though your company may have a suggestion box, convincing your employer to change business processes can be challenging. Here are a few sales tactics you can use for selling improvements to your boss.

Understand your employer's priorities: Though there may be times when you feel like your boss is from another planet, she is a person with thoughts, feelings, and ideas about how business should be conducted. She is striving to build a thriving business, and to successfully use your sales tactics on her, you must understand her motivations and priorities. Getting to know what drives your boss will help you frame your ideas in ways that are palatable to her.

It's all in the framing: When suggesting business or sales improvements, framing is critical. Good ideas wrapped in the wrong context will likely be dismissed as irrelevant to the company's goals. This is why you must conduct research on your prospect—in this case, your boss—before attempting to use your toolbox of sales tactics on the person. Frame your suggestions so they address the needs of your employer and the company. For example, if your boss is looking for ways to save money, talk about the cost-saving benefits of the proposed changes.

Demonstrate the benefits: Chances are good your boss will want to see proof the changes will get the desired results, especially if they require an investment of time or money. Arm yourself with statistics and other data that support the benefits of implementing the improvements. Even better, find companies who have done what you are suggesting and show the results they obtained. This is probably one of the best sales tactics you can use because it gives your employer something concrete to grasp.

Move slowly: Many people providing tips on sales tactics say you should close as quickly as possible. When it comes to convincing your employer to make sales improvements, however, slow and steady wins the race. Your boss will need time to digest the information you have thrown her way. If she must invest resources into implementing the idea, she may need to make sure those resources are available. Rushing her into making a decision when she's not ready may result in an adverse reaction. Giving her the space she needs to think increases the chances she'll come back with the answer you want.

Using sales tactics to convince your employer to make changes in the workplace is a good strategy for having your ideas implemented. It's important to remain flexible, though. If the boss declines your original idea, focus on working together to develop a better one.

(Photo courtesy of Ambro /


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