The role of a Board of Directors is to ensure that the organization they reside over runs as efficiently as possible. They are instrumental in hiring staff and allocating resources responsibly.
As a property manager, you are their partner in many ways. You provide the expertise, skills, and support they need in making the best decisions on behalf of the organization. While you were more than likely chosen by the Board and have an inherent bias in your favour, you still need to show diligence in your own decision making process.
This is especially true when you’re pitching them on a new vendor to address an organizational need. Remember that your purpose is to stir the Board members’ interest and get them to see things from your perspective – you don’t necessarily need to get their immediate approval on a vendor. Here are a few tips on how you can position your next pitch:
5 STEPS TO PITCH A NEW VENDOR TO YOUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Keep it short and simple. Long presentations can be tedious, especially when they include technical terms and details. If you want to make your point, be brief and communicate your message in a way that’s easy to process.
- Identify an immediate need your vendor or their products or services answer. You shouldn’t recommend a great solution to a non-existent problem. Identify an issue that requires rectifying as soon as possible, easing the Board into the decision making process of choosing a vendor to address the need.
- Introduce the vendor as the solution to the above identified and discussed problem. As Property Manager, you are required to solve problems that may arise on a day-to-day basis. The Board of Directors, in turn, trusts your judgment to do so. Having a solution at-the-ready will showcase your proactive approach to your role and make your suggestion stand out for that reason.
- Lay out the benefits, the guarantees, and the costs. Needless to say, the board members top priority is the efficient use of an organization’s resources. Any decision they sign off on needs to be fiscally responsible. Emphasize the most valuable benefits, justify all costs, and underline any warranties applicable to the choice of vendor.
- Give them freedom and space. Your role is to provide solutions and recommendations. Do not use hard-sell tactics and add undue pressure. Instead, incorporate a probation period into your proposal or even suggest a bidding process. Regardless, it is important that you conclude your pitch with a call to action – even if it the initial action is subdued.
Most importantly, you cannot appear to have any personal, vested interest in the outcome of your proposal. Your Board of Directors needs to feel that you have nothing to win, and they have nothing to lose. They were presented with a great solution to a growing problem. If you succeed by doing so, you can consider your vendor approved.