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How to pitch up the corporate ladder

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Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.

Over the next few months, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

92 Pitching up the ladder

In many business and corporate settings you are unlikely to be pitching directly to the ultimate decision-maker. Your first pitch is often to a buyer or manager subordinate to the ultimate decision-maker. Your pitch must be convincing enough to persuade this person to act as your salesperson to his or her immediate superior. A great pitch convinces the initial representative that your product or service will benefit his or her company by improving its operations, quality, image, and/or enhancing its bottom-line profitability etc. The representative will endorse your product or service to a superior helping champion it through the minefield of corporate decision-making, if he or she believes it will benefit him or her professionally and enhance his or her own position, value, and prestige within the company. After all, finding and introducing quality products or services in that representative’s company is his or her primary function and criteria for success. Thus a strong pitch appeals to both the business interests of the company and to the personal/professional interests of the representative with whom you are dealing.

A successful pitch can, in effect, turn the company representative into your advocate or representative within the company you hope to do business with. Sold on the value of your product or service, the representative then goes back and tries to “sell it up the line,” pitching on your behalf to the person or people higher in position or perhaps at a company meeting. The representative’s pitch of your product or service is tailored to the sensibilities of his or her superiors. Ideally, the pitch develops momentum and moves up the hierarchical ladder of decision-makers, convincing each in turn of the value of your product or service to the company until someone with the necessary authority makes the decision to buy or not to buy.

A persuasive pitch with the power to generate such a growing consensus is especially important in a corporate environment. There, people are reluctant to stick their necks out and make personal   recommendations if they sense any possibility of failure or blame. Corporate decision-makers fear being penalised, publicly rebuked, demoted, or even fired for mistakes, failures, or poor judgment. To avoid such consequences, they tend to look for scapegoats down the ladder to take the heat and the blame. Though, of course, they take the credit and glory from those beneath them whenever possible. The various tools and perspectives in this book will help you make just such a powerful pitch enabling the corporate chain to enjoy success by selecting your products, service or goals.


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