Selling: the Most Important Knowledge of Creativity
The difference between knowledge and creativity is that knowledge is known by others, and is accepted and understood better by a group. New ideas are the opposite of knowledge, neither known nor learned before. It is therefore, by nature, not accepted. So it has to be sold to others to create value. It doesn’t matter how many ideas you come up with; what matters is if you can sell those ideas to others.
Anchor the Idea
Your project, no matter how good, won’t matter if you can’t get anyone to buy it. It’s therefore essential that you can sell your ideas to others. To research an idea more formally, you might need to anchor it with someone who is in charge.
The first thing you have to have to deal with is the question, who will be in charge and who will gain from this? In the early phases of the process you probably won’t have any figures or analysis, so the first step is to convince those in charge of the strategy that you can do a feasibility study and investigate if the idea is worthwhile. Who should you convince?
If the idea targets new possibilities, that might give the business a new advantage. Contact people who work with the strategy and talk to sales people. They are the ones with this mindset.
What is the Effect Enabler?
A project idea is often born out of the company’s need to increase its results and competitiveness by creating a new service, product or approach (e.g. becoming more businesslike). It often comes from either the ability to do a new thing with the combination of features, locations, customer segment, promotions, better adaptations to a special process, increased efficiency, or saving money. It’s important to find out what the effect enablers would be for the customers – would they be new features or cost savings? This can be done by asking questions like:
- Does this idea lead to higher profitability?
- Does this lead to any new possibilities?
- Does this lead to any efficiency or cost savings?
In this early phase it’s impossible to know something about the cost to make the journey. What you can do is try to sell on the value of (B). And if you can’t sell by agreeing that the value exceeds the cost through a cost analysis of the journey relative to the value of (B), and then you have to try to sell on emotion, and try to motivate the one in charge.
For example, you can ask “What does this idea result in? What are the benefits? What would we do if we had this already?” Salesmen use a common trick: they change the perspective of the buyer from being a buyer to being an owner. Instead of arguments like considering the costs, salesmen often argue about how much the buyer can save if he bought it, or what new possibilities would the buyer obtain if he owned it?