Money and Power: How to Get to the Decision Maker
I have discussed previously why co-building the business case is important in its own right.
In addition, it opens the door to power.
Power = person who makes the financial decision and controls the purse strings.
Junior and/or technical people are often uncomfortable or unable to talk about money. You can use this to your advantage.
As an example, if you are talking to an engineer about a technical problem you can solve, they may or may not be able to talk about the financial impact of the problem.
If they can’t, the project may be justified from a technical perspective, but it may not be funded because the boss or boss’s boss or CFO is faced with a lot of technically feasible projects.
Only those technically feasible projects that also have the best business case(s) get funded.
There is always capital competition, so the project that generates the quickest, largest, most long-lasting and most credible return gets the money.
Think of technical people as a bridge to power
The typical way salespeople get to decision makers is to ask the lower-level person if they are the decision maker. This is a rapport destroying question that generally doesn’t get a truthful response. It often causes them to screen you – making it hard or impossible to get to the financial decision maker. No good comes of asking “are you the decision maker?”
The engineer wants to get the project approved. So if they can’t talk about the business case, they may facilitate an introduction to the boss instead of screening you.
Get to power via proper use of the Need Diagnostic, revealing financial impact and co-building the business case with person who makes the business decisions.