Everyone has an opinion. If you don’t have one, you’re not thinking. When you’re new to a job, there may be a lot about the company that you don’t understand. They’ve been doing things for a certain way for so long and change isn’t necessary in their eyes. Presenting a product, service, or idea doesn’t always need to be about trying to make a change in the company. When you present a solution to a problem, you’re presenting yourself. If there is something you feel passionately could help make your company better, pitch the idea, but make sure you have everything you need before you walk into the room with the executives.
You may have been tasked with this problem or maybe you realize that your company would spend less time if they outsourced a certain task and focused on more important in-house situations going on in the company. No matter how the complication fell in your lap, it is now your responsibility to present the best solution.
Know the solution or product inside out, there should be no question you can’t answer about this solution or product. There should be reviews for people who’ve previously used the product – if possible get a real review and not just one online. If you’re a franchise, reach out to others and find out if they’ve decided to use this product in their company and how it’s been received.
If you weren’t tasked with this project, be able to explain clearly, why and how you think this will impact the company overall. Always remember, you can’t just think about how this will affect your department – look outside of those boundaries. What will this cost, will the managers need to do more work, will payroll be affected? These are the type of questions you’ll need to examine and in deep detail. If the executives are willing to listen to your idea, don’t waste time by informing them you’ll have to follow up at a later date. Think about this from every single angle, even ask another coworker or friend so you can get the opinions of others and not just your mind.
Practice makes perfect with anything, so rehearse the presentation multiple times. Don’t just read a piece of paper, you need to show engagement and excitement about this product that you are presenting. If you have slides or handouts, know exactly when and how you’ll be giving them out to the audience. Practicing the presentation will help you know exactly what you’re talking about and will ease a little part of your mind when it’s time for the real pitch.
Have all of the data to back your position on the solution and having data that will show other possibilities that questions may arise about is also extra points towards you. Gathering all solutions and ideas cannot stop at the first thought. When you get the opportunity to present this big of a possible change to your organization as a newcomer to the business and company, take every advantage to once again show proof that hiring you was the best decision.
Never take the decision personally, especially if the pitch is rejected. It took a while to understand why my company did not outsource payroll to another organization, even though many companies were coming to us with deals. I had to understand that with a number of employees we have, the best solution for us is to keep the service in-house. Now, that is not to say that maybe in a few years when we have more employees that we won’t look at the possibility again, but right now, this is what works best for our company. Don’t try to change the company to only make your position easier. Think about this change for the entire organization. Be prepared on all fronts to present this change, take a deep breath, walk in with your shoulders ready, and always remember that you know this product. At one point those executives were in your shoes trying to make a difference in their organization, now it’s your turn.