Getting agent buy-in for new technology is challenging. Ensuring the adoption of a technology tool starts months before sales associates have access to it. No matter how great the product or service, they are still a disruption to your business.

 

The mistake that people make the most is a lack of preparation before asking for that buy-in. According to Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter, people often misunderstand preparation as knowing an idea forwards and backward. Instead, Kotter explains that testing your ability to defend your initiative with a select group of people who you trust to give honest and constructive feedback is vital. Better insight into the gaps or potential cons in your proposal enables you to have a better chance championing your idea to success.

 

In a 2016 survey by REAL Trends, announcing new technology services during company meetings and in-person training for sales associates ranked as the most popular methods for rolling out new technology services. Both of these venues are ripe opportunities to get open buy-in. They are also hotbeds for dissenters who question the need for change.

Kotter recommends using simple, clear, common sense answers to combat resistance to new ideas, not an overkill of data or a battle of logics where your idea is right, and their idea is wrong. He goes on to say that treating the ones who attack your idea with respect is more likely to draw people emotionally to your side. “And emotions—what we often call the heart—are essential to changing behavior.”

 

From REAL Trends study, How to Improve Your Technology Spend, we found that brokerages are seeking buy-in early in the process of implementing new technology or tools. Some use internal focus groups and multi-phase rollouts to increase the odds of a successful launch and long-term adoption of a technology tool. One brokerage vets its new technology through three different groups (leadership, assistants and select sales associates), essentially going through three rounds of buy-in from key influencers before introducing it to the entire firm.

 

How do you get buy-in and implement change in your business? We’d love to hear your story. Please email dlepera@realtrends.com.