You have a great idea, but you’re not sure how to get others on board. You may have good reasons for keeping your brilliance to yourself. Maybe your contributions have been shot down in the past, leaving you gun shy. Maybe scars from previous rejection or fear of future rejection has rendered you mute, unwilling to offer up any new procedures, products or programs that can improve key focus areas in your company. Even though you believe strongly that your idea can make a difference, you’re unwilling to risk possible backlash.
Don’t let fear stop you from stepping up and being heard. Arm yourself by using this 3 step process to sell your idea – even if you sense resistance.
- First, be clear about what you’re selling and it’s value to all stakeholders. To clarify your message so you nail it every time you discuss the idea, write out your talking points. Make your core message short, succinct and easy for others to remember and repeat. Consider using the advertising technique of identifying a short slogan that sums up the concept.
- Have a few data points – numbers or anecdotes – to support your claim or request. A little research goes a long way to build your case with evidence that your idea is worthy of attention. The Internet makes it incredibly easy to find rationale that backs up a new concept that may seem like it’s coming out of left field. Be sure to pick a reputable, recognizable source that others can easily see as credible.
- After your sales pitch, ask those who would be involved in implementation, or affected once the change is operational, what they think or how they feel about the idea. Respectfully listen to their input and acknowledge its validity. At this point in the process, listening more and talking less will help lessen resistance and build allegiances that will drive success and buy in of your plan. Then, provide evidence of how their input will be used to refine the idea or the way it’s executed.
You’ll face far less resistance, and garner more support up and down the corporate ladder, if you allow stakeholders to imprint your brilliant ideas.
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