Why do I always get rejected? 10 tips on how to get the "buy in". Part 1

Some of what I do is to initiate or be involved in design and product production programs. This requires me to be involved in, design and program management, negotiations with vendors, and getting management to buy into a concept.
Here are a few tips that I have used to help me get my programs accepted, ideas sold, project budgeted as well as implemented.


1) Know who is the decision maker

As we all know, in every organization there is a decision maker. Common sense eh? Not quite, a lot of vendors, sales men, or even design consultants don’t really take an active effort to find out who actually makes the buying decision in the organization.
The problem is often that who the decision maker is, is not very clear. The trick is to find, talk to and sell to that person directly. If you cannot get to that person, find the person that has direct access to him. This works for both internal and external selling.
2) Get an internal advocate
I would say this is one of the big secrets of selling. Find someone that likes you and your product. Then get this person to sell your product within the organization. Preferably, the best internal ally would be the person that has direct access to the decision maker.
Even if you can sell directly to the decision maker, having back up from your internal ally is also a good thing.
3) Find out what motivates the decision maker?
This is an interesting one. It basically oils the gears, and to get it to work needs a little more time. Basically you need to know what the decisions maker is looking for in his or her life and how you, your idea, or your product will help him/her achieve it. It could be fame, fortune, happiness etc. The hard part is finding it.
4) Find out what is the corporate agenda?
Oops you failed to convince the decision maker or the person next in line. Why? The answer is you probably did not do your home work well enough. You need to look at how your product can be part of the organization or how it can fulfill the corporate agenda or objective.
I find telling a story in your pitch helps people imagine how their life or company can be better with your idea or product.
5) Understand the protocols involved.
You have just given your most persuasive presentation to the decision maker, and you even get a verbal commitment, however the deal falls through. The next thing to do is not give up and cuss, but actually find out if it was really a problem with corporate bureaucracy or protocol.
In many companies, decision makers don’t actually make decisions alone. This is more so for decision makers higher up in the food chain in large organizations. Even though they may like your idea a lot, they will often still consult the other members of his/her executive staff or other senior business leaders under them. This is because they may need to ensure your product or design does not adversely affect other aspects of the business.
Other protocol problems could also be documentation or the use of the dreaded proposals. Somehow there are companies who love and only operate on such proposals, however it often gets lost in the bottom of the pile so you will need to be vigilant.
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Thats all from me tonight, please stay tuned for part 2 which will be up in the next few days.

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