Selling New Ideas – Getting ready

It’s a myth that people aren’t open to new ideas. They are, as long as they can see the benefit of what you are proposing. Just because you see the value of the suggestion doesn’t mean others will if you don’t speak their language.

Managers want to know how your new idea makes their life easier. They want certainty, to avoid risk, to win. They need to feel secure, worthy, and that they are contributing to organization’s success.  You need to assure them that your idea does it all.

Flying lightbulbTo get a ‘yes’ to your new idea you need to address what’s important to the person you are pitching to and the organization.

Here’s a checklist of questions and points to use before you approach someone with your creative suggestion. Having good answers will help you get ready to have your idea fly to create an exciting new future.

You’ve got the idea and want to hear a ‘yes’ to it. Here’s what to do.

Ask your boss, client, colleagues if they are open to considering a new idea.

  • If they say no, ask when might be a better time or who else to approach, then continue through the list
  • If they say yes, proceed through the list

If this idea is to have any sticking power it needs support.  When you are ready to answer the questions and address the points below you will increase the likelihood of a yes.

THE LIST

These are questions and points to cover when making a proposal in an organizational setting.

1. Demonstrate its value.

  • How does the new idea improve a product, service or process that exists within the company or external to it – How does it meet people’s needs in a better way than what already exists?
  • How does the idea advance the organization’s goals – Is sustainability or corporate social responsibility a goal? In what ways does your idea support these, for example?
  • How does it increase competitive advantage – In what ways does it make life easier for the customer? What makes it the most attractive decision for stake holders?
  • How does it differentiate the organization in the marketplace – How will it serve to attract and keep customers and talent?

2. Show how it will be implemented and by whom.

  • Outline the multi-stage process by which the idea will be transformed into a new product, service or process
  • List the resources needed throughout (time, people power, funding, etc.)
  • Identify the people and agencies who will be involved and what it will take to get their agreement

You can safely present your when you’ve covered all these points. You can use your creativity to come up with ways to answer them too.  Just make sure to help the people receiving the new idea appreciate its value and the benefits they will derive from adopting it.

The next post shows more about the human factor in making the pitch.

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