Why You Aren’t Getting Buy-In

Whether you are pitching a product or trying to get a seat at the table, getting buy-in from decision makers matters.   So why aren’t you getting buy-in with those who matter?  You are passionate about your product or idea and prepared with a great pitch but you still don’t have a seat at the table.  What’s missing?

Let’s play with a simple example and eliminate the confusion and frustration.

I LOVE HORSES!  Just to look at a horse causes a welling of emotion and desire in me.  I want one and I want to ride it.  Don’t you want one too?

“No!” you say.  “They smell and I am scared of them.”

Whoa!  If I want to sell you on horses then I’ve got to move beyond my passion which is focused on me and my desires.  I’ve got to find a way to demonstrate the purpose and value of owning a horse and move you beyond the fear.

I do research and learn that as a farmer (simple example here!) you are challenged with:

  1. growing enough crops
  2. getting those crops to market

Items 1 and 2 must happen in order for there to be food on your table.  I also learn that you currently own an ox that plows the fields and transports the crops, but speed is not his gift.

Now that I understand what is important to you, I can move my passion to purpose.  I ask if it would be beneficial to plow the field more quickly and get crops to market faster.  “Yes,” you say.  “Tell me more.”

I share that a horse can turn a field more quickly, haul a wagon more efficiently and bonus…will likely be very appealing to your children.  A horse also provides transportation for getting around town and visiting neighbors, not something done well by the ox.  I understand your needs and give you a purpose that could earn your buy-in.


For whatever it is you are moving toward you are going to need buy-in from others. Trying to convince using passion and a pitch will never be enough.  There must be purpose and it must give people the ability to buy-in and see how the purpose serves them.  Wanna buy a horse?


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