Have you ever gone to your company's leaders with an amazing idea for a new Safety Initiative and been shot down? Safety Professionals are sometimes faced with the challenging job of explaining why the company needs to invest money in specific safety program initiatives. Going for COR or switching to safety software can have such clear net positives for a company, but leaders are still resisting - here is how we think you can change this with some simple sales methods.
Getting your company or boss to say yes would allow you to get tools like Safety Management Software (SMS) to better protect your workers. With the right information and approach, you can get your next initiative approved, implemented, and protect your workforce in no time.
As a Safety Professional, I was faced with this challenge on big and small initiatives and was able to put together some strategies that help me push forward my case.
Now, as the CEO at Safety Evolution, I often have our team bring initiatives to me for approval and I get to see all the strategies and tools they use to present their reasoning.
Three P's to Sell Safety Initiatives Framework:
The aspects you will need to focus on are:
- Pick initiatives that meet Safety Goals and business goals (Pro tip- those are really the same thing).
- How to Prepare the right information for the right people.
- How to Pitch to your management team so you all come out on the same page and head in the same direction.
1. Pick Safety Initiatives & Shape Them To Be Aligned With A Business Goal
They need to be in alignment with the company goals and not something that doesn’t match the current flow or events that are happening.
Look for what is happening in the business so you can tie it into how this new initiative will benefit the business. The good news is that most Safety Initiatives can be presented to match just about any business goal. The key is to know the goals and then tell the safety story in a way that complements the goals.
You will have a way higher success rate if you start with these. There is also the option to use events and issues that arise at your company to get an initiative started. An example would be a workplace injury that occurred while working at heights. This would be a great time to get a fall protection initiative started.
2. Preparing Your Safety Initiatives To Be Bulletproof
There are a ton of strategies you can use here but there are a couple that you should start with for sure. Once you have practiced these you can add more to your Safety Sales toolkit.
Start by knowing your audience. This can make a huge difference in whether or not you will be successful. If you have leaders that care about wellness, it would not be effective to just start talking about money and financial return on investments for the company. The same is true in the reverse situation.
If your leaders are more financially motivated, ROI and other drivers that will assist them in their goals should be considered.
Next, focus on getting a champion to help you move it forward. Start with looking for who on your leadership team would see the value or may benefit the most from your programs like an Ops Manager or HR Manager whose life would be made easier with your initiative. Once they are on board you can get their help to win over the whole team.
3. Pitch The Proposal To Your Leadership Team
The final step is to get your proposal information articulated and yourself ready to Pitch.
You have done the hard work already getting everything together. This is a great time to use some sales tactics.
Make sure you are prepared for pushback and you know how you will deal with each of these. Anticipate counterarguments from the management team. Remember this isn't against you or your idea. When they try to poke holes they are just being thorough and vetting the idea from their perspective and area of responsibility.
Start by highlighting the direction and goals that the company is aiming to achieve.
Get your leadership to agree that this is what they want and you are starting on the same page regarding what the team's priorities are.
Then show how your initiative will help the company make these things happen.
Get your champion to add why they believe this will help the company move forward.
Remember that a big part of your job is sales. You are having to sell the leadership team on investing in your initiative because the return is larger than the cost. Don't forget to show the returns for areas other than finance as well, to appeal to the pains and priorities of the different decision-makers in the room.
Watch David Brennan, Safety Evolution's cofounder and CEO, walk you through this:
Myth Busting: Your leadership team doesn’t care about Safety.
This is a big misconception and places the pitch process into a battle of opposing values from the beginning.
The truth is, they just haven't had a Safety Professional bring them the story of safety in a way that leverages it as a tool the whole company benefits from. Our job as safety professionals is to sell management on how investing in Safety is a strong strategic move.
Book a free 15-minute Safety Assessment to speak with our team, and learn how to Pick, Prepare and Pitch to your management team.
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