Going after what you want — whether it’s a promotion, a big sale or bringing a new idea to market — undoubtedly takes effort and hard work. But in most cases, success is not independent of outside influencers — you’re likely going to have to convince others to get on board, too.
As an entrepreneur and CEO of a start-up that is creating a new category in cloud-based technology, I had to pitch a new business idea to very successful, influential — and let’s face it, very experienced investors who have heard every new business pitch under the sun. A daunting challenge, but one my co-founder and I needed to face in order to make our vision a reality.
Although pitching potential investors was not the first time I’ve had to make a persuasive argument, preparing our pitch and going through the experience helped prepare me for my leadership role at Cloudwords, and taught me invaluable lessons about how to prepare both mentally and strategically for situations where I need to make an important case for something I feel strongly about.
The lessons learned from this experience inspired me to share the following tips for making a persuasive case in business:
1. Make a data-driven case. Convincing someone to agree with your idea or approach typically requires a little more than saying, “trust me.” You need research, facts and evidence to support your claims. Be sure to cite credible resources so your audience knows your information is reliable. Having the information at your fingertips allows you to make a data-driven case however the conversation may wind. More importantly, this shows you have mastery over your topic. They’re not just investing in your idea, but in you as the person to execute it. […]