Is there a secret sauce to build stakeholder support? What gets a large, diverse group of stakeholders to get behind one solution while they pass on others?
Perhaps it’s the quality of the demo. Or maybe it’s the preparation of the salespeople and their staff. You can spend so much time in meetings and presentations, sometimes feeling like you’re delivering the same script over and over again, just to a different audience. When someone does perk up and express interest in moving forward, their motivations are, too often, a mystery. Did you do something different that time? Were they just in a good mood?
As long as you don’t know, unfortunately, it makes it really hard to duplicate that fortunate occurrence again.
In an awesome recent post on WOMEN Sales Pros, Lisa D. Magnuson shared some priceless advice direct from actual execs, including this gem:
“A valuable meeting is one that expands my thinking – a new idea or strategy to help me with a current or future issue. This is my measurement stick for all the meetings I attend.”
Yes, this quote speaks to the value of originality—or differentiation, in marketing parlance. Stakeholders want to hear something refreshing, something new. But that’s not all they’re looking for when they try to identify a solution that’s worth their time.
Yes, this quote also speaks to the importance of knowing business principles and strategy enough to offer something that will be sound advice to a customer, even one at the executive level. But that’s still not all.
If you noticed, the exec specified, “A new idea or strategy to help me with a current or future issue.”
What does this imply? That salespeople need to know and understand a buyer’s current issues enough that, when it’s showtime, they have customized, mind-expanding solutions to those issues. This requires a depth of knowledge and understanding beyond what a company does and how many employees they have—information anyone could just dig up in a Google search.
For certain, you must have had a pre-meeting talk with your champion/mobilizer to understand the particular struggles they’re facing and what future challenges they’re worried about. You must’ve spent ample time asking questions about the inner workings of the buying group and who is facing what challenges. You’ve must have asked enough of these questions to understand what has been ailing this particular executive lately, what solutions he/she has entertained, and which ones lay on the junk heap of failed attempts.
Yes, long before you schedule a meeting or call with that executive or that decision maker, you better be taking plenty of time with your mobilizer to discover not only their needs, concerns, and histories, but also those of everyone in the buying group.
When you can be the one who knows so much about the buying group that you can deliver fresh new insights regarding their most pressing issues, that’s when stakeholders will be glad to unite behind you.
To learn how Consensus can help you build stakeholder support for your solution, click on the “Watch Demo” button below.