How to Talk to Your Boss: 5 Tips for Getting That Purchase Approved

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You know your job better than anyone, and probably know which business tools you need to do your job better and quicker. Now, if only you could convince your boss to approve the purchase.

Organizational psychologists have developed a variety of best practices to help employees present new ideas to their superiors. If you are trying to convince your boss that you need a new tool—whether it’s a PLM system, a new training course or an ergonomic chair—here is some of the best advice out there.

5 simple tips for persuading your boss to approve your planned purchase

1. Remember your audience

It’s easy to explain why you will benefit from a new business tool, but you need to be able to speak to how it will benefit the business as a whole. Step away from the stress you are currently feeling and think about what matters to your boss. Help him or her see how an increase in your productivity will translate company-wide.

2. Understand what drives decisions at the top

What keeps your boss up at night? What about your boss’ boss? Is it concerns about not hitting next quarter’s sales numbers or the challenge of communicating with suppliers around the world? Addressing your boss’ specific pain points are a sure way to capture the attention you need.

3. Be enthusiastic

Don’t just tell your boss that this tool will really help you to do your job better—show them. Being positive and confident about your idea will not only help you from appearing overly aggressive or prematurely defeated, but it will also make dismissing your idea all the more difficult.

4. Have a face-to-face conversation

Carving out time from your busy schedule to sit down and present your idea to your boss will show him or her that it’s worth it to you. It also gives you an opportunity to test the waters—observe their body language, notice any concerns that keep cropping up, and correct any false assumptions. And at the very least, a personal meeting ensures your idea isn’t relegated to your boss’ ‘Deal with Later’ email folder.

5. Be open to compromise

Some companies are nimble enough to quickly implement a new tool, while others have to deal with more red tape. And unfortunately, the decision to forgo a new tool can be driven by circumstances just as much as by the tool itself. Things like timing, resource shortages or workplace hostility towards change can come into play.

The best you can do is to provide your boss with the information they need to discuss the idea with other decision makers and ultimately make an informed call.

We’re here to help you get what you want

When you go to have that conversation with your boss, it always helps to have supporting evidence. If you’re talking to your boss about adopting a BOM management tool, our specialty, our change management kit will help you jumpstart the conversation.

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This kit has all the tools you need to build an effective engineering change process.

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About the Author

Alyssa Sittig
Alyssa played an instrumental role in the development of the Arena Blog and social media channels from 2011 to 2012. Joining the team with a background in public policy, Alyssa ... Read More 

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