Selling safety means getting what you need from workers
Date Posted: 06/01/2020
As a safety manager, you might occasionally ask yourself, “what do workers need from me?” But have you ever thought to yourself, “what do I need from them?” You need many things from employees, including a dedication to safety and a willingness to report problems.
The word “manager” may appear in your job title even if you don’t manage a team. However, in a sense, you do manage the entire workforce. Like any manager, motivating others to take action is part of the job. To be successful, one of the things you need from workers is buy in.
Getting buy in requires applying special skills, and mastering those skills will take time and practice. Telling workers to do something “because it’s required” is not a winning strategy for motivating change. That approach of saying “because it’s good for you” might not even be very successful when used on your children at home.
Convincing others to support your initiatives is called getting “buy in” because you are selling your ideas and asking others to “buy” them. To improve your sales technique, think about successful salespeople, or even a personal experience like the last time you bought a car or other major purchase. Most successful sales approaches involve the following steps:
- Prepare in advance. Workers won’t be impressed by a disorganized presentation of ideas. Creating an outline or script helps ensure a logical flow of information, and helps you cover all the major points.
- Anticipate objections. A good salesperson knows that buyers will have objections, but have a plan to address them and overcome them. Develop responses for likely complaints, and address those issues even if workers don’t raise them immediately.
- Personalize the approach. Selling requires trust, and building relationships is an ongoing process. Personalizing a sales pitch also means answering the “what’s in it for me?” question that buyers will be asking themselves. Ideally, your pitch will offer a positive outcome (“it’ll save you time”) rather than simply avoiding a potential negative outcome (“you’re less likely to get hurt”).
- Follow-up. You need buy in because you’re asking others to make changes. Managing that change means going back later to ask for feedback, then making adjustments based on feedback. Following up also helps you verify that workers implemented the new information. In addition, addressing feedback builds the trust and rapport you’ll need when you make your next request.
Getting others to do what you ask is a skill, and requires more than simply delivering information. Successful sales people build relationships with customers because once you start getting buy in, it should be easier to get that buy in the next time around.
How Safety Management Suite Can Help
Preparing to deliver training takes a lot of time, but you don’t have to start from scratch. The Training area in the