An Executive Assistant's Guide to Asking For New Technology

Imagine this. You’re a seasoned Executive Assistant (EA) who is 6-months into your new job. You and your Executive get along well and are starting to cement your partnership. Your colleagues are awesome and you’re really enjoying this new chapter of your career. At the same time you can't help but feel frustrated. In previous roles, you used software that helped you to save a lot of time and effort and kept things nicely organized. However, your new company doesn’t have it. You know this software would be helpful, you’ve seen how it can help improve workflows and productivity. You really think it would be a great resource for your current company. But you aren’t sure how to broach the topic. You’re the new person and feel like you don’t have the right to make changes. Besides, you’ve never introduced a new tool to an organization before. 

If this sounds familiar to you, then you’re in the right place.

In this post, we’ll walk through the why and how of asking your boss for new technology. You’ll have a better understanding of how to make persuasive purchasing arguments to your boss and how to defend that argument, all with the goal to help you persuade your boss for that much needed upgrade. 

We know that as an Executive Assistant you are busy. To save you some time and effort, we’ve created an email template to make it easy to craft a compelling case for the technology you deserve.

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Why You Should Ask For New Technology

Incorporating new technology can help boost productivity, reduce waste and inefficiency, and help employees do their jobs better, faster, and more effectively. As an Executive Assistant, you’re responsible for increasing productivity and efficiency in order to support broader company goals. Because of this, it’s important that you advocate for the resources you need to do your job well. That includes new tools and technology.

When you make recommendations for new tools and technologies, you help your organization stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in an ever-evolving marketplace.

Adapting to new technologies isn’t just good for the job you currently have. Here are a few other reasons why it's important for you to incorporate new technology into your existing workflows:

  • Actively seeking out opportunities to innovate and improve processes demonstrates your strategic value to the overall success of your company.
  • Adopting new technologies can be a cost effective way for companies to stay adaptable to dynamic marketplace expectations
  • Recommending new technology can demonstrate your priority to save the business money. While there may be initial costs associated with adopting new technology, those costs are often offset by the benefits that the new tool provides.
  • New technology can help you save time on redundant tasks, freeing up your time for more impactful and strategic duties.
  • If you decide to look for a different role, your experience in improving workflows via new technology makes you a more competitive job applicant. 

Overall, it’s important that you demonstrate initiative, innovation, and a commitment to driving positive change within your company. By proactively seeking out and recommending new tools and technologies that can solve problems you’re experiencing, you reinforce the fact that you are a valuable team member that is instrumental in driving operational excellence and achieving strategic objectives.

How You Should Ask For New Technology

When you’re making a case for new technology it’s important to focus on the value that said technology will bring to the company. You should clearly articulate the specific, measurable benefits this new tool will provide to you and the organization. You can do this by highlighting how the technology supports the company’s strategic objectives like improving company culture or customer satisfaction.

It’s important to consider the key priorities of who you need approval from. For example, if you’re pitching a new technology to an executive, take some time to understand the priorities and concerns of that executive. Tailor your proposal to address their specific pain points or objectives, and show how the technology is a solution that directly addresses their needs. This is a crucial step whether you’re asking an executive, Chief of Staff, or other manager.

Additionally, you will want to illustrate return on investment (ROI) by providing concrete examples or data points that illustrate the potential impact the technology can have on areas like efficiency, effectiveness, or cost reduction.

It may be tempting to focus on the challenges or limitations you face as an EA and how this new technology can help you. However, it’s essential that you demonstrate the broad reaching effect that this new technology can have on the company as a whole, not just for you as an individual. Frame your request for a technology upgrade as an opportunity to improve processes, enhance capabilities, or seize strategic opportunities.

Handling Objections

Even the most compelling case for new technology could face objections. The best way to handle objections is to anticipate potential ones. Think through potential objections or concerns that the approver(s) may have, such as cost, implementation challenges, or compatibility with existing systems. Then prepare to address these concerns proactively by offering solutions or alternatives that mitigate any perceived risks.

Another great way to manage objections is by seeking additional stakeholder support. If possible, garner support from relevant stakeholders or decision-makers like other EAs at the company that could also benefit from it, IT or HR by discussing the new technology with them before you make your ask. In addition to gaining their support, these discussions can help you discover valuable insights and help to address technical considerations.

Lastly, keep in mind that many technology and tool vendors will offer a free trial or pilot program to new customers. Coordinate with the vendor’s sales team to see if they offer free trials. Sometimes it can be easier to gain support if you’re able to implement the tool and demonstrate its value and feasibility before committing to a formal purchase. This allows for a more gradual and controlled approach and can help address objections related to the risks and uncertainties that come with adopting new technology.

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Final Thoughts

Asking leadership for new technology and resources can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to a role or company. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you deserve to have the tools you need to do your job well. This not only benefits you as an individual but also your manager and the organization at large.

Do your research, build your case, prepare for objections, and identify allies for your request. Doing so will make a strong argument for why your request should be seriously considered and demonstrates your commitment to the continued success of your company.

With all of this information in mind, we’ve created an email template that incorporates all of the above advice to make it easy to ask for new technologies like TROOP ONE. Download the template below and tailor it to fit your unique needs so that you can feel confident and well-prepared when asking for new technology and tools to support your professional success.

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