Whether you’re trying to get a venture capitalist to invest in your business idea, an employer to hire you for a position, your neighbors to sponsor your for a charity event or your spouse to let you buy a new “toy,” you need to sell your idea to them. I’’s much easier to sell someone on something when their excited about it, so here are two easy ways to do just that.
Get really excited about it:
Excitement is contagious. Have you ever listened to someone talk about a subject that you had no interest in but then they were so excited and passionate about it that you started to get interested? People tend to communicate better when they are passionate about what they’re talking about. I see this all the time with public speaking — people that give speeches on subjects they care about engage the audience more so than people who aren’t as interested.
Try out this experiment: talk to someone about something neither one of you are interested in and note how you speak and how much the other person pays attention. Then talk to someone else about something that you’re excited about and again, note how you speak and their reaction.
Make sure you focus on the benefits to your audience:
A common mistake that people make in sales is selling features instead of benefits. For example, saying that a car has four wheel drive is nice but saying it’ll help you get over the mound of snow at the end of your driveway will hit home. By simply taking a few minutes to think about what interests the person (or people) you’ll be speaking to, you’ll be more effective. Make a list of all the benefits that taking the action you’re suggesting will have on your audience. If you’re having trouble this, take the following three steps:
- List all of the features or interesting details.
- Add to the list all the benefits you see in taking that action.
- Go through your list and find a way that each item on it can be a benefit to your audience. If you find yourself struggling for more than a few minutes with one item, then cross it off the list.
So try this next time you have an idea you want to get others excited about. You might be pleasantly surprised by the reaction you get.