In today’s organizations you don’t succeed alone. Even if you have a brilliant idea, you need to bring others along on the idea. You need others to improve on the idea, to land the right decision, and to execute on the idea. But for others to buy into your idea, they need to understand it. They also need a sense of ownership for the idea itself. So how do you build this buy-in?
5 steps to get buy-in from stakeholders
- Map out who your stakeholders are
- Understand what stakeholders care about
- Let your stakeholders participate in the idea’s development
- Bring out the quieter voices too, not just the loudest voices
- Share credit generously
Step 1: Map out who your stakeholders are
First, you need to know who you need buy-in from. Who are needed to make the decision? Who are needed to execute on the idea? Who will give you perspectives that will help improve the idea?
Step 2: Understand what stakeholders care about
Second, you need to know what your stakeholders care about. Do you know what their concerns are already? If not, how can you find out early on?
While sales reps obviously care about sales, and customer success reps obviously care about retention, what might be other more hidden concerns? For example, is one person up for promotion? Does another person have a particular perspective on the company strategy?
By knowing what different stakeholders care about, you can better plan the ensuing discussions.
Step 3: Let your stakeholders participate in the idea’s development
Involve your stakeholders early so that they get to participate in the development of the idea.
While it can be tempting to sort out all the details first, so that you have answers to all kinds of questions, this backfires. Because if others don’t get to participate in the development of the idea, they also won’t feel as committed to the idea going forward.
Like Kimberly Elsbach wrote in “How to Pitch a Brilliant Idea” in Harvard Business Review: “[Listeners] tend to respond well if they are made to feel that they are participating in an idea’s development.”
Curipod makes it easy to let stakeholders participate.
Let’s say you want to introduce user personas to your company, because you think it would help build a stronger customer-focus and shared understanding. You could bring the main stakeholders together for an introductory meeting using this off-the-shelf Curipod workshop on user personas. This would provide a starting point before a few team members proceed to sketch out each user persona in more detail.
Step 4: Bring out the quieter voices too, not just the loudest voices
To get full stakeholder buy-in, you need to hear the quieter voices too. They might be quiet in this meeting, but that is neither a guarantee that they are onboard, nor that they will support the idea down the road.
But what do you do if one or two people dominate the meeting with their strong opinions? And leave no room for others to contribute?
At Curipod, we run meetings using our open question feature, where all participants are asked to share their thoughts. This lets everyone participate and helps us guide the conversation accordingly.
Step 5: Share credit generously
True collaboration — true participation from your stakeholders — means that they also get credit.
So share credit with your stakeholders. They’re more likely to support an idea that people know they’ve been contributing to.
Next time you need to get stakeholder buy-in for an idea, consider trying these 5 steps.
And if you found this helpful, you can test out Curipod for free here: https://curipod.com/business