We’ve all been there. You've come up with the greatest idea ever. One so brilliant you’re shocked that no one has already thought of it. It’s a can’t miss. And a can’t fail. And…now what?
Well, no matter what type of light bulb is shining above your head, you’re undoubtedly going to need a lot of help getting it screwed-in in the real world. Maybe it’s a globe-changing idea and you need to convince a conference room of angels to invest. Maybe it’s a life-altering thought and you need to sway your spouse or partner. Or maybe it’s a business-shifting suggestion and you need to persuade your boss or owner. In any case, your stroke of genius isn’t coming to fruition without buy-in from the gatekeeper.
The best plan to getting those gates “open sesamed” is careful examination of the three main principles at play: the idea, your audience, and you.
Is your idea really that good? Is there anything you can fine-tune to make it sound even more pleasing? What are the possible counters to your proposal? Make sure you know them all and a have doubt-removing rebuttal for each in your repertoire. Turn over every rock lying on the crust of your idea and scrub it so that you’re bringing its best and shiniest form to your sales pitch.
Think about those specific ears that you will be trying to grab ahold of. What makes them tick? Is there a common theme in the suggestions they've preciously objected to? Conversely, is there a pattern in what has piqued their interest in the past? The more homework you do on your audience, the more targeted you can make the message, and the better chance you’ll have at whipping up an approach that appeals to their individualities. If they don’t perceive it to be beneficial to them, then it’s not going to be at all. Demonstrate how the fundamentals of your idea have worked in other instances. People tend to be loss adverse -- highlight what's at stake and what they'll be missing out on should they decide to pass.
Helpful hint: If you're getting pushback, suggest a trial period. Once people are on board temporarily they will feel committed and be more inclined to see the idea all the way through.
Lastly, look inward. Do you have biases that may be clouding your judgment about your revelation? Review your experience and search for commonalities between this newfound idea and previous ones. This way, you can avoid falling into the same old traps of what hasn’t worked in the past and further explore areas where you’ve picked up kernels of success along your journeys. Address any habits that have caused a previous hindrance so that you don’t allow them to sink what would otherwise be a big-time breakthrough. Accurate self-awareness can be quite challenging. If you find your inner-assessment stalling out, focus on establishing likeability and trustworthiness and you'll still have a puncher's chance.
Influence will always trump formal power. By being mindful of every chess piece involved, you'll position yourself to getting your idea implemented to start changing the world, no matter how big or small that world is.