Member Doug Dooley Speaks: Speak to Your Audience’s Language and Viewpoint

The Challenge:

The case at hand was brought by the top leader of a software subsidiary of a global technology giant. He was preparing for a meeting with the CFO of the multi billion-dollar parent company. His meeting objective was to garner more outreach budget to promote his unit’s very successful line of software.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

I would seize the opportunity that this highest-level meeting presents. Don’t just sell the path forward for your subsidiary; show how your business is critical in advancing company-wide strategic objectives. You have been through a crazy ride from zero revenue to millions – and then navigating your acquisition by a major tech giant. What’s more, your software is flying off the shelves and practically selling itself. If I were you, I wouldn’t ask for more marketing or sales budget in this critical meeting. What are you going to ask for anyway – 10 million dollars? That’s a rounding error to this CFO. He’ll likely allot that budget without question considering your unit’s impressive sales history.

I suggest you make this meeting a transformational one by putting yourself in the CFO’s shoes and speaking to his perspective. From his perch, he’ll agree that your subsidiary does great business, but it makes a negligible impact on the top line of the global operation. To the CFO, your unit acts in concert with other software subsidiaries as part of a grander strategy to gain more software market share. As such, speak to your audience: describe your unit’s stellar sales and innovative marketing in the context of global corporate strategy to increase software sales in target markets and verticals. Speak his language and share the impressive numbers your unit has produced. Talk about replicating these results on a broader level. Now you’re talking.