#1. Go into the meeting with the right attitude
Remember that no matter what your CFO tells you, it’s not personal. She’s paid to be extremely careful with your company’s cash and you’ve already signed off on a smaller budget. So don’t walk into your meeting primed for a fight; expect and invite an open conversation.
#2. Be selective
Telling decision-makers you “need this, oh, and that, and, oh wait, definitely this too” shows a lack of focus and planning. Prioritize your list before asking, making sure your request aligns to your current strategy—and you’ll be more likely to get what you want.
#3. Look for discounts
If you’re looking into a program or software that you might not need until later in the year, factor the latest possible purchase date into the price you share. (The vendor in question should be able to run the math for you.) You get what you want, your CFO spends less money. Everybody’s happy.
#4. Share data and feedback
Create reports that show, specifically, how this extra expenditure will save time and money. Make a plan for how you’ll measure its success. Ask everyone who would benefit from this new purchase to give their reasons (and numbers, if possible!) to support your argument.
#5. Avoid compromising at first
After you make your pitch, your CFO’s first response will be: “Cool. So what can we cut?”
Be firm about the fact that you’re asking for additional budget, not instead-of budget. Make sure you can clearly and succinctly explain why this is so important.
#6. Compromise…if you must
If you’re told there’s absolutely no more budget available, there’s no shame in having a backup plan. But before you agree to cut anything, review your numbers one final time to make sure the compromise is truly feasible.
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