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How to Sell New Technology to Hesitant Leaders

How to Sell New Technology to Hesitant Leaders

October 26, 2010

Changes in technology can seem to happen at warp speed. As such, it may be difficult for companies to keep up with the changes or even to choose which ones to embrace. And for older generations, it may seem pointless to even try.

But, taking that approach could backfire in the long run, according to Randy Breaux, vice president of marketing for Baldor Electric Company, Fort Smith, AR: "Even if I don't understand it, I have to embrace it ... or else I'm going to get left behind."

Breaux spoke at the Next Generation Networking Discussion, part of the Power Transmission Distributors Association Industry Summit in Phoenix, AZ, this past weekend. Breaux was joined by Pamela Kan, president of Bishop-Wisecarver Corp., Pittsburg, CA, and Jack Cahill, recently retired president of Kaman Industrial Technologies, Windsor, CT.

So how do you sell the naysayers on the new technology, whether it is new software platforms or things such as social media?

"If they say no, find a way to show them what the payback will be," Cahill says. "You may have to scare them a little bit, and you have to be willing to stand by it."

Make sure you believe in what you're pitching and understand how you can tie the benefits into things they understand, says Kan. "For example, if something can be translated into efficiencies, that directly translates into dollars," she says.

Or, you may be able to show the impact branding through media such as Facebook and LinkedIn is having by pointing to the number of followers and members involved in your group, Breaux says. "After all, if I can get a spot in your mind, eventually I can get a spot in your wallet," he says.

"If you approach it right," Cahill says, "there really won't be that many naysayers in the end."

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