Seeing the Total CostSeeing the Total Cost

Kathy Koshgarian, Vice President of Employee Engagement, Dohmen Life Science

‘It’s not just what you might earn; it’s what you might lose.’

Kathy Koshgarian, vice president of employee engagement at Dohmen Life Science Services in Menomonee Falls, Wis., found herself in a tricky position at the healthcare supply provider. I’ll let her tell the story.

What is one of your most memorable persuasion success stories? And what were the keys to your “yes” success? 

We were evaluating customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to maximize the central sales organization we were developing. Most of the leadership team wanted to choose a platform that was less expensive on a per-license basis. However, the total cost of ownership (TCO) would have been in line with what I believe was the better choice. I put together a proposal, with a full TCO, highlighted the pros and cons of each platform, provided individual system demos to each of the executives, rallied support from the sales and marketing team, and negotiated aggressive rates from the providers. We went with the better platform. I believe the key to success in having full buy-in was discussing with each of the leaders and stakeholders how the system we eventually chose would help solve the current problems they were experiencing.

What should professionals keep in mind when building a financial business case to persuade others?

Consider your audience. Who are you trying to convince, and what is it that they have a vested interest in? Tailor your presentation and main points to their interests. Highlight the risks and impact if the proposal is not accepted. It’s not just what you might earn; it’s what you might lose.