It may feel like Christmas finished yesterday, but it’s getting towards that time of year again. No not Valentine’s Day, or even Easter, it’s BUDGET time soon for many businesses. For me, the next few weeks will be a frenzy of quoting as clients try and estimate their budgets, put their case forward, and hopefully secure the money they need to deliver their projects. Having helped to scope and plan many of the requirements and solutions, I almost feel part of the team as we wait with clients for a thumbs up or down!
Often, we can improve our chances of success by creating a brilliant L&D business case and if you want some key pointers this is something I’ll cover in my free webinar ‘Making a Business Case for your L&D budget’. Before people even get to this stage, though, they can sow the seeds of success in the way they think about their budget!
With this in mind, now’s the time to just take a step back and make sure you have thought about these key points:
Stand in the budget holder’s shoes
You know your L&D solution is great, but will the budget holder agree? It’s your job to explain why your proposal is worth paying for: Can you give them firm reasons to say yes? Will that information be presented in an accessible and engaging way?
Think about your audience and what they need to see to say yes. More importantly, make sure you don’t confuse them along the way! Not sure what they’ll need to see? Ask them!
Stalk the key stakeholders
Yes, stalk them. After all, you can’t prepare your budget well without knowing what to prepare for!
Create chances to meet with, bump into or chat with key stakeholders, and keep asking how they feel about the challenge or situation which your proposal will address. Try and find out what they would consider to be a success, as this will be what your proposal needs to aim for.
The more you can ‘think like a stakeholder’, the more your budget will resonate with them, and the greater your chances of success!
The “yeah but” test
Even if your idea is brilliant, there will probably be some arguments against it. Anticipate these by saying “yeah but” to your whole proposal. In other words really pull it apart, try and identify reasons someone would disagree with you, and then start addressing those issues. Doing so gives you the tools to defeat objections and get your budget approved!
Would I buy this?
Finally, it’s time to be really honest with yourself and ask “would I buy this with my own money?”. If the answer’s no, you still have work to do! Sometimes, it’s only by asking this question we can realise that a proposal may not be as strong as we thought.
Following these steps won’t guarantee that your budget succeeds, but starting to think about your proposal from different perspectives will certainly improve your chances significantly. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t do everything to get the odds in their favour when pitching for budget?
Why not try my free webinar 'Making a business case for your L&D budget', where I explore how to maximise the finance you recieve for your L&D proposals in much more detail.
Stephanie Morgan FLPI, Director of Learning Solutions, Bray Leino Learning
Sharing ideas and observations to help improve performance.
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