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6 Steps to Decision-Makers & Staff Buying Solutions “With” You

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A few months ago I wrote about the “buy-with” concept from Sam Harrison’s “IdeaSelling: Successfully Pitch Your Creative Ideas to Bosses, Clients and Other Decision Makers”. Harrison contends, and we agree, that it is much more success-oriented to gain decision-makers’ agreement and approval when you build their understanding throughout a project than to wait until the end and try to wow them with a “isn’t this terrific!” presentation. “Buy-in” is a dangerous game; it’s ultimately better for all concerned to be buying together than to say “come on in!” at the end.

In this cost-conscious climate we’re often asked to help organizations review their information services and develop recommendations “within new parameters” (translation: “we have fewer employers…or… the university’s overall budget is begin reduced & everything’s on the Web anyway, so we can’t spend this much on information services/libraries”) And, of course, the decision-makers controlling the library or information services want the recommendations tomorrow (ok, I exaggerate — they want it in a week…sigh….which is just as difficult)

We’ve worked hard not to be “eagle consultants” who swoop in, perch awhile, peer around, leave some droppings and fly off again. Staff involved with information services need to be involved in this project, no matter what. And so must those making the final decision. It’s a bit like planning and delivering a delicious meal for decision-makers (ok, probably not a good analogy, but try it for a minute). You have to be clear at the outset if there are any allergies

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