Anger management, changing perceptions, expectations management, risk aversion, new CRM systems, protectionism, inertia and even monkeys – There’s always so much variety when we discuss the challenge of partner buy-in for marketers in professional service firms!
At the most recent PM Forum http://www.pmforum.co.uk/training/ workshop “Getting it past the partners – All about buy-in“ in early June I think we did as much therapy as much as we did theory. A key takeaway for many delegates was a Michael Jackson moment: “You are not alone”.
This workshop is based on my model of the 7 Ps of buy-in: People, Psychology, Process/Precision, Plan, Persuasion, Pressure and Patience (see http://kimtasso.com/getting-it-past-the-partners-all-about-buy-in/ ).
Visualise the big picture and then break down the small steps
Taking time out to sit back and think about what you are trying to achieve (and why) is always valuable.
So we spent some time visualising our end goals in whatever projects we are tackling. Then we were able to work out the small steps needed to get us there. Breaking things down into bite-sized pieces can be an effective strategy where people are time poor with short attention spans.
Be positive, persuasive and persistent
Achieving buy-in demands an incredible array of selling skills – not least the ability to be positive, persuasive and persistent.
Understanding the perspective of busy fee-earners is also a challenge – especially when their attitudes, personalities and motivations are so different. And the approaches you might need to adopt need to be just as diverse.
Rather than attempting to impose our agendas and ideas on the partners, we looked at how we can learn more about their needs. We agreed that it was important to include them in discussions at the outset so that they buy-in at the start to plans that they themselves have developed.
I think my personal favourite was the idea that as marketers and business developers we must “assist not insist”.
Labelling and reframe
The most popular concept for the delegates at this session was labelling and reframing. And I have written about these in previous blogs (see, for example http://kimtasso.com/two-big-guns-of-communication-face-time-and-reframe/)
- Why is marketing planning so difficult in a professional service firm?
- Lessons from recent inbound marketing and social media course
- Marketing planning – Are you seaweed or a limpet?
- Top tips on the psychology of persuasion
- Psychology and Coaching
- Selling Skills for the Professions
- Psychology and Human Nature
- What is emotional intelligence (EQ) and why is it important?
- We’re all change managers in professional services
- 10 tips to increase buy-in: Planning to persuade
- Strategy workshop: Skills, resources, involvement and tools for the journey
- Five favourite thoughts on fantastic writing – from a business development writing workshop (2015)
- Future Marketing Managers need some Finnish “Sisu” or Japanese “Ganbaru” for success
- “Mavericks, measurement and impatience” Campaign management in the professions – highlights from the West Midlands Professional Marketing Forum
- Stakeholder engagement and buy-in: Influence and persuasion skills with Aristotle and Knights and Dinosaurs
- Future Marketing Manager – The challenges
- Achieving buy-in – Oranges, elephants and dancing
- Client Experience Management (CEM) – Nine takeaways (Perspective, Emotions, Tension, Journeys, Involvement, Tangible, Systems, Technology, Process)
- How do you increase motivation for marketing and business development?
- How can I improve my persuasion skills?
- Animal magic of buy-in and stakeholder engagement (Video)
- Coaching and mentoring staff and fee-earners
- Making an impact, influence and persuasion
- Marketing is dead, long live selling?
- Seven insights into client care and service excellence
- Book review – Insight selling by Mike Schultz and John E Doerr
- 10 takeaways from a workshop on buy-in (Guildford, 2018)
- Digital PR case study – BDO accountants “Service2020: Megatrends for the decade ahead” and local government social media campaign
- Top tips for motivating people
- 10 key points all about buy-in in professional services (Manchester and Dublin 2019)
- Getting it past the partners – All about buy in
- What is neuro linguistic programming and how might it be useful to me?
- 7 building blocks of a proactive marketing executive (2015)
- Bottlenecks, bulldozers and caught in the cross-fire – Highlights from a stakeholder management and buy-in session (2016)
- Book review “Conversational riffs - creating meaning out of conflict” by Neil Denny (Conflict management)
- Future marketing manager – Perception, Motivation and Planning (Oct 2017)
- How can non verbal communication (body language) improve my marketing and personal effectiveness?
- Book Review: “The small big – small changes that spark big influence” by Steve J Martin, Noah J Goldstein and Robert B Cialdini (persuasion science)
- Change management book review: “Switch: How to change things when change is hard” by Chip and Dan Heath
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- Managing teams and virtual teams – 13 top tips
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- Coaching and Mentoring
- Improve learning effectiveness – Using Kolb’s learning styles
- Be more strategic – Look to the stars and keep it simple sailor
- How do I deal with difficult partners?
- Animal magic and the art of gaining buy-in: Leeds September 2019
- Key thoughts from marketing and business development assistants (2016)
- Psychology, neuroscience and client engagement
- What is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)?
- Two big guns of communication – Face-time and reframing
- Change management in a surveyors’ practice – Bridging the gap between the old and the new
- Be more strategic – creating behaviour change
- Team management issues – Managing up, boundaries and broken relationships