025 - Make it a No-brainer



  • Value = benefit - cost
  • Most people can't easily see that value up front
  • Spell it out - make the value more obvious
  • Compare the costs now, with the investment needed and the results later
  • The more you highlight that value, the more it's a no-brainer for them to say 'yes.'




Most people are reluctant to pay for something where they feel the value is not worth the price. Decision-makers in your organisation are no different. They will not say ‘yes’ to your proposition just because it’s a good idea, because they like you or because they are just generous types. They need to perceive the value as being (a) worth it and (b) greater than the cost.

So, when influencing others to buy-in to your proposition pay attention to where the value is for them, their business unit and other stakeholders they care about. This value is likely to be actually greater than it first appears to them. That’s natural – it’s your idea not theirs. You need to help them see the FULL value of the idea in it’s broadest sense and compare that to the actual cost.

I’m suggesting that you make the pay-off much more obvious, make it….a no brainer.

If I offered you a product that cost you $5 but guaranteed you an extra $100, would you take it?

Of course, because the difference between cost and value is obvious.


“Mike, I propose that we reduce the frustration and time wasting our employees are experiencing by buying this additional tool. 

Currently, because they have limited tools to use to get ABC done it means they have to go in and out of the main screen 4 times, often duplicating data in more than one place and that means our customers are much more likely to get information that is either inaccurate or even just plain wrong.

Even at conservative estimates this is costing us around $40,000 a month to fix. That’s money lost.

What I recommend is that we buy XYZ, get it installed by the end of next month and sort the problem out as soon as possible. 

It’ll cost $50,000 to buy and about $30,000 to install. Once it’s in place we anticipate monthly costs of only $10,000 to fix data.

So, spend $80,000 once, drop our monthly costs, and end up $280k better off each year.

What do you think?

Now, initially you can see that asking for $80,000 to fix a problem may seem a decent spend. But when you compare it to $280,000 savings, it’s a no brainer.

So, as well as getting the cost, ensure you fully expand the value to help your decision maker see it as a “no-brainer.”

The more you do that, in their mind, the more likely they are to say 'yes.'