12 Tips to Selling Your Ideas!
Have you ever had an amazingly great idea but couldn't get others to see and share in your vision to a degree where they would take action? Well you're not alone! The art of selling ideas takes a certain amount of finesse with the work starting well in advance of actually pitching your idea to your audience. Here are our "top 12" tips on how to effectively sell ideas!
- Deeply connect with others so they know that they truly matter. Genuinely care about others to a degree where you're eager to learn about their dreams, successes, desires, family, interests, hobbies and anything else that is truly meaningful to them. Make others feel like they are the most important person in the room.
- Give freely of yourself without expecting anything in return. Offer your assistance in helping others in some fashion, either professionally or personally. Maybe it's helping them solve a problem or connecting them with an expert in a particular field or just listening to their situation and offering encouragement.
- Learn how to effectively communicate with others. Spend 90% of your time asking probing questions and actively listening in order to pinpoint others' needs. People will be more receptive to what you have to say if they believe that your ideas can help them either achieve their goals or eliminate their pain points.
- Translate your ideas into practical, needs-driven solutions that add tangible value. Critically think through how your ideas will, with certainty, satisfy others' needs. You must present the information in a way that helps others connect-the-dots.
- Craft a compelling "here's my idea" message. Start with your own story so you can create an emotional connection with your audience. Why is this idea even important to you? What is causing you to be passionate about your idea? Next, draw your audience in further by sharing how your idea can help your audience achieve their goals or make their lives easier. Understand how their world operates. Provide specific real-life examples and scenarios that will resonate with your audience.
- Practice pitching your idea. First, walk through your pitch multiple times in a quiet environment until your message flows smoothly and crisply. Next, identify colleagues who will be honest with you and ask them if they'd be willing to listen to your pitch. Encourage and thank them for their constructive feedback and rework your message accordingly.
- Select the right time and the right place for message delivery. Find a time when your audience is most likely to feel relaxed versus rushed. Schedule a location that feels open and welcoming (lots of room and light and appealing surroundings) versus confining (minimal and darkly lit space with depressing surroundings).
- Deliver your idea with passion and enthusiasm! Come from a place of optimism and excitement and you're more likely to engage your audience. Positive energy is contagious.
- Hear what your audience has to say. Intently listen to plus watch your audience's reactions — their affirmations, tweaks and objections that can come in the form of body language, tone of voice and word choice. Ask probing questions to get at the heart of any objections so you can either mitigate them or offer alternatives.
- Capture delivery outcomes. Clearly and succinctly summarize decisions rendered, next steps, discrete actions, owners and target dates both verbally and in writing. People oftentimes forget what they actually signed up for if it's not discussed, finalized and documented.
- Continue the momentum. Shepherd your idea through to a successful outcome even if it means investing more time in the execution phase than you would have initially anticipated. While anyone can present an idea, only those who are highly capable can bring them to fruition.
- Advertise value attainment. Circle back with your initial idea approvers to let them know the benefits that were realized and how their lives just got better or easier. Not only will they feel great about the positive impacts, but you will continue building your credibility as a highly respect and talented resource who originates, pitches and acts on compelling ideas that deliver tangible value.