Do you ever wish you could get to Yes in a meeting? It isn’t always easy to get stakeholder buy-in. Whether you have a new initiative, or want to just get things done, knowing how to influence and get key decision maker’s buy-in is a strength everyone needs. Understanding your stakeholders and helping them achieve results is part of the process to having their support.
11 Power Tips To Get To Yes!
- Win Your Colleagues Over. Use the principles in Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Yes! This book written in the last century gives words of wisdom that still hold true today. And the number one rule to follow is the golden rule: treat others with dignity and respect and they will reciprocate.
- Focus: Follow One Course Until Success. Don’t get distracted with the millions of projects on your plate. If you are working on a big initiative at work see the finish and all the steps in between. Make your team aware that this is the key to their success.
- Start with WHY: People respond better when they understand why first before what, how and when. There is a terrific TED talk with Simon Sinek about starting with “why.” People need to know the reason for the project or program first — before they will agree to support it.
- Communicate Benefits: Now that you have shared why this is important- like saving millions of dollars or gaining access to key customers-the benefits need to be shared. It isn’t enough to you want to do the initiative, you need to back it up with data and even better proof of concept. Research other companies who have been successful in launching projects similar to yours and share the information with key opinion leaders in your organization.
- Timing Really Is Everything: Don’t wait for results to happen before you include key people in the process. Reach out at the onset so they feel part of the process.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Stephen King
- Engage and Include: Even if your boss and their boss are super busy people, sharing measureable objectives, milestones and getting their feedback along the way is key to have their support.
- Risk Mitigation: It may seem obvious, but no one will jump off a cliff without a safety net. If you are asking for a financial investment, the risk must be assessed. Will there be any chance this could fail and if so, what would happen if…? Be prepared to answer this question and your response should be backed up with facts and actual numbers.
- Listen and Be Inclusive: No one likes his or her ideas to be discounted. Let’s say you have this incredible idea of how to save your company 1 million dollars. You have vetted the idea with your boss and now you are presenting it to your team. A key member of the project suggests an alternative that might yield a better result-listen to this and respond in a positive way. Everyone feels good when his or her opinion is valued.
- Being Right Isn’t Always Right: Winning others to your side means you have to be flexible. You want the stakeholders to share your vision and if they offer a twist and will fund your project based on that…is it better to make progress or be stuck without a project?Demonstrate flexibility and you are more likely to get to Yes faster.
- Measure Results: Using the SMART Goal method: S-Specific, M-Measureable, A-Attainable, R-Relevant, T-Time-bound you will be able to track progress, report updates and most important share the win at the end!
- Celebrate with Stakeholders: When the key stakeholders realize the end of the project will include recognition they are motivated to help see it succeed. Think about High Potential Incentive Programs where top performers travel to a great destination. Will they strive to reach their goal only because of the trip? Probably not. Do they want to reach the goal because it is a very cool perk? Definitely!
Do you have a project and need some help figuring out how to get stakeholder buy-in? Reach out to me and let’s talk. I look forward to hearing from you.
Always remember – You Got This!