Last time we chatted about the things my Glam Squad (and other local favorites) did to gain my loyalty and turn me into a walking / talking billboard for them and the businesses they represent.

But I’m not in sales… you say. Is there a way to use these same (or similar) tips as an individual contributor on a team or a manager of a small team?

Yup!! With some tweaks, I took what I learned from Enterprise and applied them when I collaborated with partners and when leading my team. These are derived from things I learned, applied, failed, adjusted, and refined over the course of my career so I could get others to buy into ideas / initiatives / or projects that I couldn’t accomplish alone. And in the spirit of #3nomorethan5…

Getting a team to buy what you’re selling

  1. Identify what needs to get done – Just like a customer walking in the door triggers a possible sale, learning that an initiative rolled down from “above” gives you the opportunity to proactively map what you and/or your team will need to do. I prefer to drive the change rather than be told what to do, so I always advise: if you can offer suggestions / solutions early, you’re in a better position to lead as changes come.
  2. Clues from the business landscape – Whether you get a lot or a little initial guidance from your leadership, take a minute to think through what the initiative is expected to achieve… what you and others specifically need to get it done… and where you can anticipate the ripple effects of actions as you work through the project.    
  3. Play to people’s strengths – If you know what needs to get done, anticipate what you need, and strategize for the bumps ahead… now you can engage the right resources for the work. With my team, it was about strategically assigning tasks. Give people a chance to shine and / or learn through the project. If I needed resources among my colleagues, it was about communicating the specialty skills needed to contribute to the success of the project. The right team collaborating successfully to execute a project shines a positive light on individuals and the whole.
  4. Don’t be afraid to shift or adjust – Going back to #2, new information or unexpected developments can happen at any time. You’ll want to get frustrated or frazzled… instead, take a breath / acknowledge the situation / make the adjustment and move on.
  5. Be thankful – Don’t wait until a project ends to recognize a partner or teammate. Encourage and express your thanks for specific tasks well done throughout the process. It keeps motivation levels up… and… (more importantly) builds a sense of ownership among all participants. When people feel their contributions matter and are valued, they are more likely to produce high quality work… sell the value of the project to others… and that all contributes to stronger adoption of the initiative beyond your project team. Like I mentioned before, showing a little gratitude goes a long way.

Everything we do is interconnected. When I can clearly see my role in an initiative… I can identify what I need to accomplish my portion of the work… I can share my vision with those who I need to execute the work… I can make necessary adjustments without getting too wigged out… and I can consistently thank and encourage my partners throughout the process; I can successfully lead an initiative from inception to execution.

A one-and-done approach doesn’t work

But that doesn’t happen without consistency. Consistency allows a relationship to build… trust to grow… and drives a sense of collective ownership to producing a high quality product. Did I stumble? Yes! Did this always work? No. People and situations are all different so the balancing act and ability to adjust is definitely a challenge. However, once you find a system that works for you… it’s super fun to see amazing things happen!

Next time we’ll take a look at how to adapt these steps as you “manage up” – the selling / influencing / leading those who lead you. Until then… try this variation of my recipe and let me know what happens for you!

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