The First Step in Getting Buy-in

Jan 24, 2019

By Paul. Kurnit and Steve Lance

If you want to promote a good idea, here’s advice from Paul Kurnit and Steve Lance. In their book Breakthrough!, they share this advice on the importance of an outline.

As the marketing/advertising experts advise:

"An outline is the critical first step to building any selling presentation. There are several questions you need to ask yourself in putting together your outline,” they add

1. Who are you going to be selling/presenting to?

—How many levels of management are involved?
—Will you have to sell your immediate supervisor first?
—Are there side presentations and allies you need to enlist? (Like the head of research and the chief financial officer. Good call, there; those who could be your biggest allies or enemies.)

2. What are you selling? What’s your Big Idea?

(Note: We’re not saying you’ve already come up with the Big Idea—your big Idea at this point is the idea of assembling a team to come up with the Big Idea.)
—What’s your rationale for why chasing the development of the idea is such a powerful opportunity and possible business winner?
—Who will you need? Who do you think will make upyour team?

3. What response are you looking for?

—What does a yes look like?
—What do you need to activate your idea?

4. What’s your promise to management?

—How are you going to measure and report your progress?
—What are their approval points? Cut-off points? Be sure to let them know they’ll still have control.

Your outline is highly personal and variable. It’s driven by and needs to be responsive to your business culture. It needs to be clear, complete, and compelling. This is a tough sell so you need to build the best presentation ever. You need your audiences to love the opportunity you’re presenting—from the very first page, slide, or opening words. Incite enthusiasm. Start a fire! Build heat. Then, build from there.

Excerpted, with permission from the publisher, from Breakthrough! by Paul Kurnit and Steve Lance. Copyright 2011, Paul Kurnit and Steve Lance. Published by AMACOM.

About the Author(s)

Paul. Kurnit and Steve Lance are coauthors of  Breakthrough! A 7-Step System for Developing Unexpected and Profitable Ideas. Kurnit is a well-known marketing expert and marketing professor at Pace University whose achievements at agencies such as Benton and Bowles, Ogilvy and DDB's Griffin Bacal include campaigns for Crest, American Express, and Transformers. Lance is a thirty-year veteran of advertising and marketing and an award-winning copywriter and creative director. He is coauthor of The Little Blue Book of Advertising. Together, they also wrote The Little Blue Book of Marketing.