Hello and welcome back to Business Skills 360. I’m Tim Simmons, and I’m glad you could join me today for more tips and techniques for selling your ideas.
Now, you know your ideas are good, but how do others? You need to make them think or even just feel that they are good. Last week, we looked at some techniques you can use. In this show, we’ll look at attitudes that you can adopt. This isn’t exactly about what you say, it’s about how you say it and the feelings or impressions your delivery creates.
The first attitude is positivity. People naturally gravitate to positive people and tend to avoid negative people. So, make a habit of doing simple things like saying hello to people in the hall and at the water cooler. Keep discussions upbeat. Show excitement about your ideas and keep smiling. There’s a lot of power in a smile, and you should use yours to cultivate an atmosphere of positivity and warmth. People will be drawn to you, and, as a result, to your ideas.
Another attitude that will bring people on board with your idea is empathy. This is about showing people that you understand how they feel. Not just that you know what they’re talking about, but that you have felt it too. If that person is feeling frustrated by red tape, describe an experience in which you also felt frustrated by red tape. They will feel you’re on the same side. Show people that you get it, and they’ll be more likely to believe and follow you.
Empathy creates a feeling of inclusion, or belonging. And there are other ways of doing this. Have a welcoming attitude. Your great idea is more than just an idea. It’s an idea plus all of the people who believe in it. In this sense, your idea has its own little club, and everyone who believes in it belongs to that club. So talk about “we” rather than “I” and make people feel like accepting your idea admits them to a group. People want inclusion and fellowship. You can make them feel this with a welcoming attitude.
Okay, now there are other tacks you can take when you’re trying to sell someone on your ideas. One of them is shock and disbelief. This is a very useful tool for making people feel that another idea, maybe one that disagrees with yours, is useless or absurd. It goes something like this: “Did you hear what the consultant said? He actually thinks we should spend more on marketing. My jaw dropped when I heard that.” People who might have thought the idea was good will have doubts. After all, if you think the idea is crazy, then other people probably do too.
One more attitude or impression is something called the “last resort.” The last resort is the only option. It may not be a perfect option, but it’s the only one remaining. Your idea might actually be one of many, but if you talk about it as though it’s the only one left, people will stop considering other ideas. “Well, we’ve looked at all the alternatives and none of them are up to scratch,” then you can hit them with the punchline, “So I guess we really don’t have any other choice…” You see how this works? People will get the impression that all the other options have been explored already.
So, remember that bringing people on side doesn’t just mean giving them reasons to believe you. It also means adopting certain attitudes to create an emotional response.
That’s all for today. If you’d like to test yourself on what we’ve just covered, have a look at the myBEonline.com website. There you’ll find a quiz about today’s show as well as a complete PDF transcript.
So long, and see you again soon.
1. What type of personality or attitude are you naturally drawn to?
2. What types of attitude or behavior will make you less likely to believe someone?
3. When someone appears very surprised by your ideas, how do you feel?