This is a question I am often asked by mentees . My answer today is very different to a few years ago.
When we are attached to an outcome our strategy, we are so focused on ourselves we don’t listen to others, we don’t hear the objections and therefore don’t address the concerns head on. Ignore objections at your peril, as these are the opportunities to engage and path the way to cut through.
Here are the 5 things you need to do to sell your ideas or strategy:
1. Connect with stakeholders, build trust. It’s not about you, it’s about them. Understand their drivers and needs before sharing your strategy. As Dale Carnegie wrote in how to win friends and influence people ‘first seek to understand before you are understood’.
2. Ask questions of stakeholders, present your thoughts on the strategy, draw out their concerns, what they like and what is not clear. Collaborate to evolve the strategy. No one person can come up with a strategy on their own, its always the culmination of many inputs, experiences and knowledge
Don’t present at a Fait Accompli
3. Address every objection. Ignore objections at your peril. Objections show an interest, but never move on, without enquiring, why are you asking this question? go deep, as the objection raised often masks the real concerns.
4. Challenge your own thinking. Attachment without being open to others views can be career limiting. Thank others for their contribution and ensure you acknowledge individuals for their valuable input and evolution of the strategy
5. If you are unsuccessful, learn and move on. I mean move on, let it go, what did you discover along the way. Journal or share your leanings .
Success takes patience and time. Take others on the journey, collaborate, acknowledge inputs of others into the strategy.