4 Tips on how to get buy-in to fund your mindfulness program
By Holly Duckworth, CWMF Alumnus
You have a vision, creating a successful mindfulness program! Sadly, other key influencers do not see it. Now what? No matter if you are a vendor to companies or an internal champion for mindfulness, we have one unexpected thing in common. Sales. Yes, you read that correctly. We both must sell the return on mindfulness to get buy-in and funding. Did you know, according to Fitt Insider, the business of mindfulness is fast becoming a pillar of the $4.5T wellness industry. The US meditation industry is now worth $1B. The organizations that need our work, may not understand or value it the same way we do. Many of us are struggling to find the success we had hoped for in our businesses and or programs. How are your mindful sales skills?
Tip #1: Look & Listen for the Problem & People
Before you begin the “sale” of your program step back. Look and listen. Look around the organization where is their most need? Next, determine who is the influencer that makes the ultimate “yes” decision for your program. Is this one person or a team/committee? There is no right or wrong here, but it’s your starting point.
Tip #2: Qualify
Once you have the name, names, or departments that are your decision makers it is key that you take the time to qualify them. Get to know who they are and what they value. How do they connect to wellness initiatives? The more you can get to know them before selling your program idea or concept to them the more you can authentically with them. How do they connect to the problem you are uniquely qualified to solve? Begin by asking them questions. What type of program do they need? How have they handled wellness programs in the past? What resources do they have for a wellness program?
Tip #3: Demonstrate the value with both facts and case studies
Focus your program with one problem and one solution. Keeping mindfulness simple for your decision-maker will increase your success from the beginning.
Gain permission to “pitch” your idea. Based on what you have learned about the needs and your decision maker craft a pitch in their language. Are they more hard data and numbers driven? If numbers driven script your conversation with the best data-driven strategies, you can. If your lead decision maker is more story and case study-based lead with that. Use data from sources they will read like Forbes or Harvard Business Review.
At the time of your scheduled meeting gain buy-in by using all that you have used in your own practice. Be fully present. Breathe. Center. Calm. Focus demonstrates in the pitching process the power of mindfulness in the workplace. Our actions will speak louder many times than words.
Tip #4: Gracious Gratitude
After you have had the opportunity to share the passion, purpose, facts, and case studies of your program depart with gratitude. First, always thank the decision maker for their time and attention. Then, when you get back to your desk always follow up with a thank you note. Even this is a place for mindfulness in your qualifying stage you should have gotten to know how this person prefers to connect. Do they use phone, Zoom, email, or are they the kind of person that appreciates a good old fashion handwritten note? Reply to them with gracious gratitude.
I suggest it’s our blind spot, we jump into the “hard” sell or deny the need for sales skills and do not activate our mindfulness as a strategic advantage to sell. By trying to slow down and focus on the present customer needs and buying power will translate to happier customers advancing the industry in ethical ways for all of us.
To learn more about mindful selling to increase your business outcomes and how Eric & Holly can help your organization, please visit www.leadershipsolutionsinternational.com or www.mindfulsalestraining.com or come meet us at the 7th Annual Mindful Leader Summit in DC.