Top 5 killer tips to power sell your ideas


For some reason many people think to “sell” something is in some way a form of coercion. It somehow pushes a person into doing something they don’t want to do.  Some people feel selling is bad.

This thinking is wrong… and thinking this way really is bad for all involved.

You see, to “sell” something is to help someone become informed and help them with a decision.

Here is a scenario where the person thinks “selling” is bad:

Limbani works on a project team which is implementing a new technology platform in her company.  The project leader has discussed with the team all the necessary configurations required to correctly implement the platform. Limbani, however, being an expert in a particular aspect of the platform discovered a better way to do the configurations.  She feels it would save the team months of configuration.

Limbani did mention her approach previously but only one aspect of the solution and quickly agreed it was a bad idea when questioned about the different approach. Limbani felt she would be perceived as too pushy if she continued to try and “sell” her idea. So, Limbani said no more.

The company lost the benefits of months of savings, the team lost the knowledge of a new approach and Limbani lost the opportunity to be recognized and advanced for her superior knowledge.

Here is a scenario where the company supports the concept of “selling” is good:

Fresh off some sales training, Limbani pulls together the benefits of the better way to do the configurations. She puts a plan together with all the benefits and the outline of the implementation to show the approach.

Asking to run through some benefits she has found and the outline of the new approach, the project manager agrees. Questions arise from the team regarding the benefits and outline. Limbani listens to the questions and responds with some clarification aligned with the benefits and the outline.

After a little tweaking of the outline the project manager and team agree to use Limbani’s new approach.

The company benefits from months of saved time, the team learns a new approach for future projects and Limbani is approached more about her thoughts and is recognized by the company for her efforts.

So “selling” is really about “helping”

If people don’t know about a new process, new products or new services, then they aren’t able to make an informed decision about changing the status quo. Perhaps you do “help” them understand the ins and outs of this “new thing”.  You answer questions about this “new thing”.  You provide your opinion on this “new thing”. You highlight what your opinion is based on for this “new thing”. You have now helped someone by “selling” the “new thing” to them for them to make a decision.

If the decision is “no”, then at least it is an informed decision.

If the decision is “yes”, then you have some more work to do. You have to show the path to obtaining this “new thing” and “help” the decision by turning it into action!

Okay, a little recap:

  1. Selling is good as you are helping people.
  2. You need to highlight the benefits and answer questions.
  3. You need to help a “yes” decision turn into action.
  4. Everyone benefits when you do this!

You have waited long enough, here are the 5 killer tips to power sell your ideas:

  1. Verify your idea

First, you need to verify your idea is actually a good “solution”. You verify this by simulating your idea as if it was actually in place.  Look for other supporting information as well. Other places this has worked. Supporting arguments why it would work here.  The risks involved with the new “solution”.

  1. Drive out the benefits

Second, you need to determine all the benefits of your solution.  Clearly determine all the ways the benefits outweigh the risks involved. Determine the risks of not doing your solution.

  1. Write out your solution and practice

Third, you need to write out your solution and benefits.  Practice delivering your solution and benefits. Be prepared for possible questions and other feedback.  Create a short opening hook.  Something like I have a solution to X problem which could provide many benefits such as Y. Can we have some time to discuss this further.

  1. Determine the timing and deliver

Forth, you need to determine the best time to offer your solution.  Usually this is as soon as possible but certain timing can be beneficial.  For example, if you have a team brainstorming session planned, it could be a good time. Or perhaps you are going to have a rare opportunity for a face-to-face encounter.

  1. Help to turn your solution to action

Fifth, you need to turn a “yes” decision into action. Does an agreement need to be signed? Does the solution need to be created? Does someone else need to be involved? Action is critical at this point. Without action the solution may die at this stage and never resurface.

One thing to remember is you have good ideas, and you need to “sell” them. Selling is good and it really does “help” everyone.




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