7 Things You Need to Know About Consensus

  1. Your stakeholder map doesn’t include all the stakeholders that will be involved in your opportunity. Improving your ability to devise a strategy for pursuing and winning an opportunity will require you build a better map for gaining consensus.
  2. There are stakeholders and influencers that aren’t on your stakeholder map. Some of them are unknown to you. A few of them are unknown to some of your contacts within your dream client’s company. Some of them may be in companies outside of your prospect’s company. Identifying the stakeholders will create new problems and new choices.
  3. Your first plan will only include the people who are receptive to you and who want to buy. The people you need for consensus are unreceptive and some are opposed to your solution. You might believe that avoiding these people improves your chances of winning, but avoiding them makes it more likely that you lose.
  4. There are always multiple paths to a deal, and it isn’t often the first path you identify. If you are going to build an effective strategy for gaining agreement for you and your solution, you need to explore all of the possible strategies that are available to you, including who you meet with, when you meet with them, and in what order you take certain actions.
  5. Some paths only become apparent when you think about leveraging the people inside your organization to help with people at different levels inside your prospect’s organization. Getting a “yes” sometimes requires that different people at different levels in your prospect’s company have commitments from their counterparts in your company.
  6. Looking at more stakeholders and incorporating people from your team can improve your strategy. Leaving people out of your plan decreases your options. It can limit your choices. You can’t consider certain paths to a deal if you don’t explore them.
  7. Creating a good strategy requires that you identify the outcomes you need with individual stakeholders and determine the right sequence of events. An early meeting with an obstacle can give them the ammunition they need to bury you and your deal. A late meeting with a key decision-maker can make them feel that they have no ownership. Getting things in the right order matters.

Filed under: Building Consensus, Sales 3.0

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