by Patty Azzarello
Selling Your Ideas
Are you ever frustrated that no one listens to your ideas?
If your opinions are not appreciated, or your proposals get dismissed, you need to do a better job selling them.
The Harsh Reality
1. Right or Effective? Remember, you can be 100% right and zero% effective. Having good ideas is completely different than getting them acted on. You need to do the work to put yourself in a position to sell your ideas, and then you need to actively sell them.
2. YOU are being judged. People are judging you as much as your content. Donât spend so much time on your content that you forget your Personal Brand is also on trial. Be mindful of your Executive Presence. The way you present is as important as what you present. What is your strategy?
3. It takes Effort. You need to invest time, energy and personal relating, if you want to gain support for your ideas. Saying you donât like politics is a cop out. It absolves you of any more effort. Successful people work to actively sell their ideas.
How can you stack the deck in your favor, and get your audience ready to say YES?
Performing Vs. Presenting
4. Donât miss your 15 Minutes of Fame: My biggest career jumps have come from some very specific opportunities to present to important groups of people. Donât just present. Use the opportunity to perform. Think about the key differences between performing and presenting and how you can make your communications the most persuasive.
5. Donât bury the lead. Make sure to put the main point of your communication up front. Donât bury it with lots of archaeology and context about how you got there to show how smart you are. It back fires. People get bored and you miss your chance.
6. Own the Outcome. Always own the outcome of the communication, not just the communication. What do you want to happen as a result of this communication? Think it through. If nothing is going to happen as a result, why are you communicating? Always ask for something.
Be More Relevant
7. Find a Hook. Make sure you connect your new information with things people already know and care about. Always find a hook that is something already on their mind to hang your information on.
8. Always translate: Be really careful not to use your jargon and your vocabulary when you are trying to convince others of something. Always relate your ideas in their words. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got about this is to make the name of the meeting something they would want to come to.
9. Not just the facts. Even the most analytical people act based on emotion. The facts may make a compelling and persuasive case, but if you want people to act or change you have to also motivate them personally. How do you compel them to act with your data?
10. Get support up front: Know how your ideas impact people, get their input, give them a chance to shape what happens ahead of time. Donât spring new ideas on people in public. Build a relationship and get their personal support before you start announcing or requesting things in a group setting.
Want to know more?
Selling your Ideas was the topic of a recent webinar I did. There’s a podcast.
I do a Free Webinar each month on a topic of personal leadership and business effectiveness. If you are interested you can get invited.
How do you sell your ideas?
What did I miss? Who do you need to convince? Who are your supporters and adversaries? Please add your best stories and strategies in the comment box below!
Patty Azzarello works with executives where leadership and business challenges meet. She has held leadership roles in General Management, Marketing, Software Product Development and Sales, and has been successful in running large and small businesses. She writes at The Azzarello Group Blog. You’ll find her on Twitter as @PattyAzzarello
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