Preparing to Sell Ideas in Your Workplace
On Career Exploits last week, I charged you to dare sell your ideas to your boss. My goal then was to help you realize why you shouldn’t hesitate to release whatever you know which will be of use to your boss or employer.
However, there is a way to go about selling your ideas that will make it fly or rejected. I am not sure about your situation, your boss and how your organization works; however, I will share with you a guide which you can, at least, adapt in your setting to be able to sell your ideas successfully to your boss and even your colleagues.
Gain Clarity Before You Suggest
The first step to preparing your idea for sale is to ensure you thoroughly understand the situation because usually, your idea is connected to a person, a process or situation and your grasp of the situation determines the possibility of generating useful ideas.
If you don’t understand the situation, you will find it hard to make meaningful suggestion and the consequence is that you won’t be listened to. And even if anyone spares their time to listen to you, you will make a fool of yourself.
So, to gain full grasp of the situation at hand so as to deliver useful solution to them, I want you to properly study the situation, system or you person you want to give suggestion about. Learn all the ways that it affects the organization – negatively and positively.
Think about different ways of approaching the matter and then come up with the winning way, which is actually your big idea!
Do your best to ensure that your big ideas haven’t been tried before; that way you won’t be wasting anyone’s time with your presentation.
Validate Your Idea Application First
Equally think about how it can be applied so that you won’t be introducing a possibly good solution into the wrong system. The fact that that it has worked somewhere doesn’t mean it will work in your organization.
So, think through the peculiarities of your organization and the potency of your ideas before you step out to present it. Think about the available funding and man power that will execute your idea.
Even if people and funds are not on ground for execute your idea; be sure that your organization can put it together when you are ready.
Present Your Idea with Humility
No matter how wrong these people have been in their processes and techniques for years, please be humble in presenting your idea.
Don’t sound as the best guy that has ever been – even. Even when you are sure your suggestion is the best way to go, please don’t sound like they can’t do without it. Some people can’t differentiate between pride and self-confidence and you don’t want to make anybody think you to be proud.
Tackle Possible Objections
Your suggestion is likely to unsettle existing standards. Therefore, many of the people that will listen to them will have objections.
They won’t to be absolutely convinced that what they have been doing for years with results to show can be improved upon. They are skeptical in investing in a new business and that’s why they will grill you.
As a result, they will ask you questions and seek clarifications. Their questions are designed to get you to convince them beyond any reasonable doubt that your claims are realistic.
So, one of the things you do in your preparation is to think about their possible objections and address them even before they bring it up.
You may not be able to think of all possible objections before meeting them; but if you think about your idea critically, you are sure to come up with a good number of them.
Use The Best Medium For Your Communication.
All of us as humans can actually communicate; however, we have different strengths with respect to medium.
If you are very good with writing, please put your suggestion in writing. Make it so detailed and relevant that there will hardly be any unanswered question when your boss reads it.
This doesn’t mean you won’t have to come and answer questions from the management and give clarity where vagueness exists in your writing. However, your paper presentation earns you attention from the management.
If you are not good with writing; but can express yourself better with words, you should prepare adequately. But that doesn’t stop you from doing a good job of presenting your suggestion on paper.
Writing may not be your strength; but it should be good enough to earn you an invite into the board room. Then, when you gain access, you can use all your speaking skills to persuade them into buying your idea.
It’s not enough to have an idea; you must learn how to sell it properly. The foundation for a successful sale of your idea is adequately preparing for it.
Your preparation starts from having a good understating of the situation, validating that your idea will work in your organization, anticipating objection to your idea and tackling it and presenting your idea with all humility.