7 Top Hints for “Selling” Compression Planning to Others

Thoughts I frequently share with new Compression Planners about introducing CP to leaders.

I’m talking about “how to sell others on the idea of using CP on some issue, challenge, opportunity or big stinkin’ mess.”

When I started this business in September 1978, I’d explain the techniques, underlying principles behind CP, Disney, storyboards, and I’d walk leaders through the nitty-gritty of how I’d help them.

Then one day it hit me like a giant tuna slapping me in the face. Most leaders didn’t care about CP.  They had issues and wanted help and that’s all they really cared about.

I discovered the less I talked about CP and the more I found out what was driving them nuts…what their big opportunities were or where they needed help…that’s what they really cared about.

This was a major insight and to this day it’s a foundational principle in my way of working with groups.  Get inside their heads.  I don’t mean playing amateur shrink.  Help people by trying to understand their issue.  I’m convinced leaders don’t buy CP.  They buy you and how you can help them address their needs.

Here are my top 7 hints on getting leaders to “buy” Compression Planning:


Hint #1: Don’t try and sell them.  Simply don’t.  Let the process sell itself.

Hint #2: Don’t explain CP in detail to people as a means of selling them.  The best way to sell CP is to use it to resolve an issue.  The participants will sell themselves.  Talking about how you do it in detail is normally irrelevant.

Hint #3: Find out what their needs are. Focus on the people not your process…what’s in it for them if they are successful or unsuccessful.  Get into their concerns, dreams, aspirations and fears versus Compression Planning.

Imagine going to a doctor and you aren’t asked any questions…rather they get all excited about and explain their new medical apparatus, which causes miracles.”  Such treatment would make me want to gag.

We’d walk out the door, wouldn’t we?

Hint #4: Low key it. Overselling anything gets in the way.

Hint #5: Let results sell the process. Yes, results are the single best way I know. Then people ask for CP. When that happens you know you know you’ve sold it.  It takes a while.

Hint #6: Use the Master Planning Model. When talking with people at some point they want to get into how you’ll help them. You can walk them through the Master Planning Model.  Laminate it and use it as a prop.  Show a design model, which you can download from our website.

Click here for the Master Planning Model and here for the CP Report Design Template.

Hint #7: Just do it. Don’t ask for permission.  You wouldn’t ask permission to use a flip chart, smart board or any other technology.

Here’s to helping groups get focused and into action…quickly.


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2 Responses to 7 Top Hints for “Selling” Compression Planning to Others

  1. Miquiel Banks July 4, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    I tried clicking on the Master Planning Model and the CP Report Design Template, the links didn’t work.

  2. Patrick McNellis July 6, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Thanks Miquiel! I went in and fixed it. It links out to our “Resource Website” and the link should now work. It’s located at http://www.mycpcommunity.com. If you have any questions about any of the resources there, let me know!

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