Strategic HR Weekly "Sales" Tip #16
(Took a couple weeks off from these Tips... once because I was too busy, and once because I took a true "unplugged" vacation. The latter was NICE! It took a couple of days to adjust to not being connected at all, but after that it was easy. I highly recommend it.)
An interesting LinkedIn: HR discussion...
In a LinkedIn: HR discussion a few weeks back, a question was posed "What are the most frustrating challenges when working in a HR department?" Interestingly, the first three responses (see below) had to do with "selling".
In the business world, there are two types of "sales". There's "business development" sales, done by employees who choose a career of generating revenue for their employer. Obviously there are different types - retail, B to B, B to C, etc. And then there's "internal" sales - meaning, how well one can communicate their ideas and recommendations to their supervisors and peers. Those who can effectively and successfully "communicate and sell" internally generally climb the advancement ladder faster than those who struggle with that skill set.
So if you too find "selling" HR is difficult, go back to the basics. Read the best sales book there is - Dale Carnegie's 'How To Win Friends and Influence People' - and put the principles to practice. It's all about learning the needs and desires of your audience, and then coming up with a compelling and convincing "presentation", showing how your suggested solution(s) will fulfill those needs/desires.
And remember, they'll be different for different audiences. If you're "selling" to the C-suite, their needs and desires will center around P&L performance. If you're "selling" to the CHRO, they'll probably be interested in expense control, time management, and effectiveness of their other current strategic HR objectives. If you're "selling" to a line manager, they'll be interested in how you can help them accomplish the directives from their boss or dept. head. If you're "selling" to a tactical or functional "HR doer", they'll probably be interested in how THEY can make more money, and/or how they can have increased job satisfaction. These are just general examples. It's imperative to uncover the specifics to increase your chances of success.
Remember, it's all about the other party when it comes to selling!