4 Tips for Getting Clients to Buy-In on Your Ideas

01.13.2017 | Sarah Elson

As PR professionals, our success hinges on getting buy-in from clients on our ideas. Without clients’ approval to execute our strategies, we cannot drive results. But getting buy-in can be challenging, particularly if your idea is out-of-the-box. Kodak, for example, chose not to pursue digital cameras after the first one was developed in their lab because they didn’t think it could become better than film and therefore didn’t see it as a good investment.

In order for a client to sign off on an innovative idea, you must develop a strong case to support and sell it. Below are four tips to help you successfully pitch your ideas and gain your client’s approval.

Explain how it helps achieve their goals. When presenting a new idea, you must help your client understand how it will help achieve their overall business and communication objectives. When presenting your idea, be sure to clearly outline your plan for execution, a proposed budget, and an anticipated return on investment. For example, if you propose that your client should invest in a co-branded whitepaper, your presentation should include how much the whitepaper will cost, a summary of the anticipated results, and how those results will help move the needle for your client.

Show examples of success. Back up your argument by showing how this strategy has been executed successfully in the past. Your client will feel much more confident investing in your idea if they see that a similar strategy drove stellar results for another company. If you’re proposing something new that hasn’t been done before, do some research to prove your idea will work. Look for evidence in industry research, information from credible external sources and relevant case studies that support your claims.

Appeal to all stakeholders. Oftentimes, there are multiple stakeholders within an organization who must sign off on your proposal before you can move forward. It is important to understand who those stakeholders are and where their priorities lie so you can ensure your proposal addresses the needs and concerns of everyone involved in the decision-making process. If your client’s marketing director and VP of product development fully support your idea but the CEO isn’t on board, it will not come to fruition.

Encourage collaboration. Make it clear that your proposal is a work in progress and you want your client’s feedback to make it as strong as possible. Collaborating with your client on your proposal will give them a sense of ownership and make them feel more invested in the idea. They will also feel more comfortable committing to a proposal if they know they can work with you to change certain elements so it better suits their needs and preferences.

Getting buy-in from clients can be challenging at first, but if you communicate your ideas effectively and prove that your ideas drive results, over time the process will become much easier.


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Filed under: Business to Business, COMMUNIQUÉ PR, Planning, PR trends, Strategy

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  1. [...] Sarah Elson is a senior account executive at Communiqué PR. A version of this article originally appeared on the agency’s blog. [...]

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