How to sell an idea to your boss

How to sell an idea to your boss

Without great ideas, nothing will happen. How do you get your ideas accepted? How to sell an idea to your boss?

We all have them – bosses and ideas and sometimes even bosses with ideas. It is difficult to produce ideas. It is difficult to make ideas happen – but before you get in action, you need to convince your boss.

This is my third post in idea series. You can see also my other idea related posts:

How to produce ideas and why ideas wont happen in business.

1. Prepare your boss

Don’t shoot your idea suddenly on his face. Have small discussions about the matter before. Ask how he sees the area of your idea. Is there any problems and what he would do to solve them.

You can do this few times, so that he is already familiar with your idea and problems you are trying to solve.

2. Define business value and ROI

If you already have defined ROI for your idea -use it! If you don’t have try to find it. Money is always good reason to do new things.

Your boss definitely wants to save money or earn money.

Be careful with your ROI. Make the ROI believable and have facts behind it. If your ROI is not true. it is easily ripped in to pieces and it might kill your idea.


3. Find sponsors.

Find someone respected in your organization to sponsor you. There are influencers in all organizations. Talk to them, they are usually smart people, they understand the value of your idea.

If you get them on your side, it is easier to convince your boss. When you talk with your boss, mention that you have discussed with your sponsors and tell that they liked your idea.

4. Find customers

If you can sell your idea to lot of people before it approval, it will make extra pressure and credibility.

..and you will have answer to question : “Who needs this?”


5. Compare your organization to others and make it look silly

If your idea is improvement, compare your unit to others and make it look silly and old-fashioned.

Don’t go over the line and humiliate anyone – but tell how some other unit does something better and how your idea could move YOUR organization to the next level way ahead of the comparison target.

6. Prepare something to show

If possible make something real you can show. Don’t leave it to powerpoints. Demo and show something real.

Your idea becomes more touchable. It shows that you can pull it through and you will get something done.

7. Find a problem.

Most ideas are for solving problems. Connect your idea with problem it solves and make it clear.


What if you still have resistance?

If it does not happen now, it does not mean it would not happen ever. Wait and hit again.

If you cannot get your ideas through, relocate yourself. Present your idea to different unit in your company and offer to work for them.

..or even more radical – change the company completely. There might be other companies that respect your ideas.

Start business. This is definitely big step to take, but if you believe in your idea and are passionate about it, you should consider it.


Image courtesy of stockimages /


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