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Why ‘Buy In’ can mean ‘Why not Buy Out’

Language is important!  There are certain phrases which get used in circumstances where they are not appropriate.

For example, the word ‘obviously’ is totally overused, in my opinion. It is stuck in somewhere in a sentence for no apparent reason – it’s often the case that what someone is saying may be obvious to them but not to anyone else.

After a while phases such as this become habitual, just being uttered as a matter of course without any real thought about the impact which they will have on the listener.

In the CRM context, ‘Buy in’ is such a phrase.  I hear it often.  People say ‘We must get sales buy in’, sometimes before they’ve even been spoken to. Because it’s used so often it’s become part of the project furniture and by default, can become another one of the (many) hurdles which have to be overcome.  It’s not just said by the project team, sales staff and even Sales Management use it too.  So all of sudden before we’ve even started, we’re surrounded by this self-induced folk law.

The question is why?  Why on earth do we have to use it in the first place?

When it’s said, what we are really saying is ‘I’m not really sure if the sales team will use this’.  When translated by the salesman it becomes ‘That’s interesting – so maybe I don’t have to use it. We’ve seen off plenty of other hair-brain schemes and here’s another one’.

OK I’m joking (sort of) but hopefully it makes the point.

Using ‘Buy in’ is negative, it puts you on the back foot, gives no value and potentially can give the users another reason for not using it as well as the option to ‘Buy Out’.  This phrase doesn’t have to be used at all.

Some far more positive and encouraging openers are ‘When this is installed you’ll be able to get those revenue figures immediately’ or ‘You remember that time when you turned up at that client’s site and his system had been out of action all morning .. Not any more’

So who’s on the back foot now?

I don’t want to suggest that this is a battle – of course it isn’t, many users will be crying out for the CRM system because they know that it will make their life easier.  So why not build on that and get one step ahead of the game by using positive language initially, rather than creating another potential obstacle.

So the next time you are on the verge of using it (or if you hear someone from the project saying it) think again and get rid of it!