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How to sell an idea and succeed

OK, so you have a super idea and now you just get it backed up from a few key people. You have prepared materials, maybe even a Power point presentation. Now you can present all of this stuff that is so good and that can be great for you all!

But ... no one was interested.

Why? What happened?

Here are the five most common blunders to occur when you sell an idea to the staff (or to clients):

1. You neglected to spend the time defining your audience and forgot to address them in a personal way. Your audience has only one thought in their heads when you present something – “What do I get?”, they want to know. Whatever you present - focus on those who are listening – and in answering that question!

2. You opened the presentation with the idea instead of presenting the advantage. Always start with the most obvious. Describe the most important personal benefit to the people you sell the idea to. Always? Always! You need to get the listener to wake up.

Who would you listen to if you could choose between these two:
1. -”Today I will talk about some common presentation techniques”.
2. -“Today I will teach you how to present an idea so people will listen and buy your ideas”.

3. You used too much time to come to the point. People (you and I) want to have the cake now. We don't want it wrapped in plastic, paper, or another kind of wrapping and then tucked into a fancy box. We WANT to be interested. Save the explanations for those who are interested.

4. You launched too many ideas at once. Stick to one thing at a time, preferably just one idea composed into a single message.

5. You forgot to sell it to some in the audience who can become your fans. It's obviously smart to have some people in the audience that supports you during the presentation, some who already know what you're talking about, who like the idea and who ask you the right questions. Nothing gets people (you and me again) going as easily as when there are others who support what you say.

Try it yourself!

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.