This morning I was faced with two urgent technological challenges: How will we keep our new website looking fresh and how do I convert a Word document to PDF? My favourite small business technology blog: Working Solo, had two new posts that helped with these issues. As well as immediately racing into both posts, I know I remembered far more of their contents - because they helped solve my problems.
You can engender that desire for a solution when you prepare for your meeting or for your presentation. Here are four ways in which to build people's buy in.
- Get them concerned about the problem before you suggest a solution: Your starting point must be to build the need in the listeners' minds. We often see speakers leap into their preferred solution almost at the start and yet if we don't believe we have a problem, we are unlikely to buy the solution. Remember to inflict pain on them! Get your listeners worried about what will happen if they don't take up your solution. This approach derives from excellent sales research by Neil Rackham at Huthwaite and is well presented in SPIN Selling.
- Make it easy for them to say 'yes': Work out the problems your listeners face if they act on your message. Then present in a way that helps solve those problems.
- Transmit in a way that reaches their frequency: Audiences are very self-absorbed. Most of us find it hard to listen unless we believe we have something to gain from doing so. When we sit in a presentation, we are tuned into an FM radio station called WIIFM. (What's In It For Me?) You must transmit onto that frequency or we will tune out and tune into some other channel. Understand their channel and make it clear what they will gain from listening to you.
- Keep it relevant: Focus on what could matter to your audience, not what matters to you. Make sure your examples are relevant to their experience and that you communicate with the right vocabulary.