How to Sell Your Ideas

Getting new ideas is relatively easy. Selling them is the hard part, says Rajesh Setty. In this article, he explains why the majority of ideas die too quickly, and then lays out a practical approach to couching your ideas in terms of concepts and ideas that the audience you’re trying to persuade already accepts.

Setty calls this concept “laying the mental breadcrumbs.” It is where you go to a place where your audience is super comfortable with and then keep placing mental breadcrumbs until they come to where you want them to come. The first step therefore is to know what your audience knows so that requires a bit of homework on your part. Going there will get a first mental nod from your audience probably including an externally visible indicator that you got them.

Now, don’t make the mistake of presenting your main claim right away as that will be too big of a jump for them. Your approach will be to present something that will extend something that they already know – metaphorically placing a mental breadcrumb. If you observe carefully, you will notice an internal nod in their eyes that will show that they have moved to the next step. Then continue by placing another mental breadcrumb, resulting in another mental nod, and repeat this process to get them to gradually accept your new idea.

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