Often it can be quite challenging getting buy-in from your team when you need to introduce new coaching methods, processes, and call guides. Or just about anything else that’s New.
Why? Because most people don’t like trying new things. Even when these new developments could deliver tremendous benefits.
That’s because trying something new takes individuals out of their comfort zones. And, typically, their initial reaction is to resist change, especially when other team members speak out about making any changes!
Having run and owned contact centers and consulted with many companies mentoring and coaching their managers and team leaders all around the world for the past 35 years, I am well aware of how challenging it can be getting buy-in from teams when introducing anything new.
Here is a simple process amazing team leaders use to get buy-in from their team members before they launch any new training or coaching methods, processes, or systems to their teams in order to bring everyone on board.
1. Identify the team members with the most influence.
2. Meet with these team members first before you meet with the entire team. Have a discussion with them to share your mission and vision and where you’re taking the team.
3. Be sure to ask them if they buy-in.
4. Address their concerns and negotiate until they buy-in.
So, take your time, get the right people on board first, and let these key influencers help you sell the vision and help you get everyone else on board!
Sample Buy-in Discussion Guide
To make the buy-in process much easier for yourself to manage, and for team members to understand, create a Buy-In Discussion Guide.
Here is one (see Figure 1) that is modeled on the guide used to coach the team leaders of one of my clients in order to get buy-in from their team members on hitting their sales targets and key performance indicators (KPIs) every month.
After you’ve had a look at the guide, be sure to read the accompanying “Buy-in Script” below. This will give you an example of how to script your discussion to help you manage the discussion with each of your team members to get their buy-in.
Are You IN or Out? Sample Discussion
“<Team member>, I’m speaking with everyone in our team to discuss the steps I’ll be taking to make sure our team reaches its targets/KPIs each and every month.
“Making our budget every month is important to do, not just because the company has big plans for growth this year and is spending lots of money to drive in calls.
“More importantly for me is that when we don’t reach our budget it means that not only do you make less money, but I definitely make less money and <Call Center Manager> makes less money too!
“You and the rest of us all work really hard. And when we don’t hit our budgets we all make less than we want, and it can be very disappointing and frustrating, right?
“Just imagine how much easier all our lives would be if we hit our targets every month: there would be be a whole lot less stress on everyone for a start. And we’d all have a lot more fun with each other and money too, wouldn’t we?”
(Hitting Sales Targets)
“Now the key to hitting our budget every month is for everyone to hit their sales targets every week.
“Would you agree with that?
“Obviously, I can’t do it on my own. I need your help.
“And what I need to know from you is if you’re ‘IN’ with the team hitting its budget every single month.
“I’m going to make an extra effort on my end to see that we hit our budget every month.
“And the reason I’m asking if you’re IN or not, is that I only have so much time and energy and I can’t afford to spend that extra time and energy with people who aren’t IN.
“Now, just so we’re clear. You’re on my team and I’ll always treat you with courtesy and respect, and help you when you need help, whether you’re IN or not.
“However, if you’re IN I’ll find the extra time and energy to help you reach your targets every week.
“What that means is that I’ll be listening to your calls and working one-on-one with you to help you hit your targets and KPIs.
“I’ll make sure that you get the help you need for sales, product, and systems knowledge if not from me then with the training and admin teams, so you can feel confident that you can reach your goals.
“If you’re IN, here’s what I need from you.”
Then show them a form, like the sample Guide, that outlines all the targets and KPIs you need from them, what you’re committed to do to help them achieve those targets, and how they and the team would benefit.
No Buy-In Consequences
I bet you’re asking yourself: “What if they don’t buy-in?” If you can’t get their buy-in, that’s okay. At least you know where you stand, and they know where you’re coming from.
Remember, although they didn’t buy-in now, that doesn’t mean they may not change their mind later, especially once they see the success other team members are having.
After discussing the steps you’ll be taking with the team from this point onwards, and they’ve indicated that they’re “NOT IN,” you need to be very open and clear about what the likely outcomes will be.
For instance, if the team member doesn’t consistently achieve a level of sales that is acceptable to the company—performance management—they will ultimately be let go.
If you find you haven’t got their buy-in at this stage you can handle this situation along these lines:
“Well, <team member> that’s certainly your choice. And I’ve said, you’re on my team and I’ll always treat you with courtesy and respect, and help you when you need help, whether you’re IN or not.
“However, I won’t be able to find the EXTRA time or energy to help you reach your goals or KPIs every week. And, if you don’t consistently reach goals or KPIs every week, let me ask you:
“How long do you think it will be before we are forced to put you on a performance plan, or let you go?”
Give them the time to answer and listen clearly to what they have to say. If it appears that they don’t really care continue with:
“Well <team member>, I hear what you’re saying, and from what I think you’re saying, you aren’t all that interested in reaching your goals or KPIs every week, is that right?”
If they say yes, continue with: “Well, it seems that this isn’t the job for you. Maybe it’s time for you to find something else that you may be more suited to. Should we make arrangements for you to do that now?”
Now for some of you this may seem really direct and to the point.
But if they don’t want to buy-into this, that’s certainly their choice. And, if they don’t want to buy-in, then you’ve got to ask yourself, and them, if they are a good fit for the job.
If they don’t want to buy-in and aren’t right for the job, wouldn’t it be better for everyone if they found something else that they really wanted to do?