How to build a business case for your promotion

Know Your Value

Define a single sentence value statement for each of the following value types :

  • Business value
  • Strategic value
  • Financial value
  • Leadership value

Phrase the sentence as :

In the last [time period], I have led the team to deliver [value] by [1-3 steps to creating this value]. 

Example :

In the last 3 months, I have personally led account building activities which has led to a 50% increase in revenue by identifying key decision makers in resource acquisition in 4 leading companies,  developing bespoke sales strategies for each company as well as a series of business strategies which will help these companies increase profit over the immediate 3 month period.

Does your value = promotion ?

Meet with your boss and walk through your ideas on your value, give specific examples for each value.

Check-in with your boss and ask the following questions:

  1. Do these represent sufficient outcomes to be promoted?
  2. Do these items represent the value to the business that I have proposed? More/less
  3. What gaps are there for promotion?
  4. Do these outcomes represent sufficient skills to do well in the new role?
  5.  Adjust your value statements based on this feedback.

Develop a pitch, pitch it and then repeat it

Use the your value sentences to develop your very own sales-pitch. This should be something you can talk through with senior members of the leadership team.   You want to get your message out there so effectively that you start to hear your key words and phrases repeated back to you when other people talk to you about your own work.

When this happen, it means you are being effective in increasing your visibility and doing this in a way that you are leading that visibility.

Your word of mouth is not being defined by what other people are saying about you but by what you want them to say about you.

Aim to create an opportunity for talking through your pitch at least once a week to a senior manager and create a list of target senior managers to be getting in front of  to talk through your value.

Time it

This is a great activity to complete as a lead in to an ask for promotion.  I recommend getting your pitch ready and out there 3 months prior to directly asking for a promotion.

Remember to Listen

Whenever you are in pitch mode, keep your listening ears on.  This is not a speech, this an opportunity to be interactive, gain valuable feedback and test the waters to see if the senior manager agrees that you are (1) valuable and (2) promotable.  Pay attention to their body language, tone of voice and how responsive they are to your pitch.  Your pitch should receive a positive reaction and be received well.  If you find this isn’t happening, check-in with how you’re presenting the pitch, how much active listening you are using and if you are presenting yourself in a positive way.

Practice

Practice your pitch in front of your web cam or/and a trusted mentor.  Watching yourself back will help you adjust how you present your own value. Watch for facial expressions, tone of voice or hand gestures that detract from your pitch.

Make silence your best friend

Silence is a highly under rated tool. Silence allows people space to consider your words, consider their response and provide that response. Don’t take silence as a bad thing.  Provide space and structure in the way you communicate for thinking time – both for yourself and the senior manager.   Don’t fill pauses, let them linger.  You will find you get much more thoughtful and deeper responses if you allow this to happen.

Now, I’d love to hear from you – what are you top tips for building a business case for promotion ?  What has worked in the past and what will you try in future, to help get that promotion ?

 

 

Resources : 

Susan Colantuono is trail blazer in supporting women’s career progression. This ted talk neatly encapsulates a way of presenting your value to very senior levels of management. See : https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_colantuono_the_career_advice_you_probably_didn_t_get

 

Good Listening

See: https://www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_5_ways_to_listen_better

Another, resource to improve your listening is through regular meditation. I recommend finding meditations on sounds (Gaia has some great 10 minute sessions) as this helps control the way you listen. I’ve found it super helpful in being less distracted by background noise in conversations.

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