Factors in selling ideas

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When ‘selling’ an idea or new concept to management, it would be prudent to bear in mind the following issues:

The Selling Context:

  • Timing, includes large scale issues such as past company experiences with similar ideas, and smaller scale issues such as annual committee cycles, etc.
  • Audience is there a possibility that the audience will be receptive to your suggestions and if so do they have the ability to do anything about it.
  • Idea Champion will be a key person within a group that can actively support sponsorship.

The Selling Content:

  • Use simple language, avoiding technical ‘jargon’ that the audience is unfamiliar with
  • Use a clear statement of the need for the idea, providing the necessary facts that originally stimulated this need. Describe the problem you idea will solve and explain why it needs to be solved.
  • Present both the pros and cons of your suggested idea, avoiding one-sided presentations that might distort the idea’s worth.
  • Provide evidence in recommendation of the idea, which shows why the idea will work and why it should be better than another idea. However, do not exaggerate its worth
  • Stress Key points when selling the idea taking care to avoid unnecessary detail.
  • Anticipate questions and develop responses and reactions to them.

Be persistent especially if you have faith in this idea, be willing to put in the effort but no matter what, do not become overly antagonistic.