You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.
So you would like to present a new idea or solution to your key stakeholders, or you have been presented with a new set of new parameters and need to persuade others of a different approach. What do you do? How do you begin?
Take Joe, a successful bank vice president. His branch has been so successful that the bank president wants to take 30% of his team and disseminate it across the company, in an effort to bolster performance across branches. Joe thinks this would be the death knell of his success. He has worked tirelessly to develop and bring up his team, and this move would take him back to zero.
This is just one example of someone who needs to figure out how to court stakeholders and get their buy-in. You may have found yourself in a similar situation at some point.
Clearly, your success in this kind of situation will depend on how well you sell your ideas. Confront these barriers and you will be on your way to successful sale of your ideas:
Relationship status is critical, because a relationship gone sour can overshadow any other leverage you may have. How does the stakeholder view your relationship? If it is negative or hostile, is there anything you can do to soften that impression? Can you bring on another well-respected stakeholder, to keep discussions from becoming personal, between two opposing forces?
You are certainly credible. You have the background and experience to handle the decisions that are being presented to you. Does the decision maker (or decision-making group) in your situation feel the same way? Now is the time to look hard at your past performance, skill areas and experiences. If they have heretofore gone unnoticed, now is the time to bring to light the practical insight that you have brought to similar situations.
As the "seller" here, it is up to you to patch over any communication mismatches that take place. Who is your typical audience when you are selling your decisions? Is the current situation different? In Joe's case, he usually finds himself working with the bank's board of directors, and is typically reporting positive numbers.
In this case, he is working directly with the president of the bank, and has to advocate for the most successful set of employees staying under his own umbrella.
Offer alternatives. Make it easier for the decision makers to change their current path. Maybe Joe could offer to develop a training program for other banks. Perhaps he could "lend" some of his representatives out to other branches, so they could learn the working style that he has fostered in them.
Address all of these barriers and you will find that your relationship, credibility, communication style and ability to offer alternatives will soften an otherwise polarized situation.