I have always wondered if people all see the same thing. Bar colour blindness we sort of presume they do, but do my blue Post-It® notes look the same to you? Do the square edges look the same? I presume they do, so I never ask.
A lot of people presume that others can see their vision and rush off to get people to buy into it. Unfortunately people often don’t see it in quite the same way and where they see a blue square, others see a pink circle.
So when you want to sell your vision, the first thing you have to do is take a bit of a step back and ensure people know what you are really trying to sell. If you don’t get this right, you might sell an idea, but that is no good if it is not the right one.
For me the first step is pretty obvious. It is called a vision, so get visual. Whether it is drawings, pictures, online, offline, beautifully finished, or on the back of a napkin, never underestimate the power of showing. A picture, however rudimentary, really does speak a thousand words. Once something is on paper, you have a real something that you can sell and you can map out your vision.
Don’t worry if you can’t draw, simple shapes can be added together and words and arrows go a very long way. Get something down and have something that allows you to take people through your vision.
The next step is to break your vision down. You don’t want to throw away the big moment by rushing to the punchline, you need to take people on a journey. This lets you build up to the big idea, creating something of value people can really buy into.
You need a beginning, a middle and an end.
The beginning lets you set the scene and show a pain that needs solving or an opportunity that can be exploited.
The middle shows how these could be approached and beaten.
The end gives the killer applications and closes the sale getting people to believe in it.
People are most interested in buying things that they value and value comes in different forms. A pretty vase looks great and gives pleasure, you might buy it, you might not and you can always come back tomorrow. Whereas a medicine that takes away pain is something that you want right now and are prepared to pay for. So a key to getting people to buy into your vision is to work out what pain it solves. What pain does your product solve?
Uber takes away the pain of not being able to find a black cab as much as aspirin takes away your headache.
Identifying a pain point is not enough. You have to show that you understand it. That you care and that you are able to do something about it. But don’t stop there, you need people to know where to go to get it.
At every point, you need to make sure your audience are with you. It is very easy to get carried away by the big idea and sprint ahead, only to metaphorically turn around and realise that no one is following. So pause, take a breath and make sure they are with you.
If you don’t have a vision that you believe in, no one is likely to follow. Authenticity make a huge difference and people want to follow those who truly believe in what they do.
- Visualise the vision
- Take them on a journey
- Show how you can solve the pain
- Breathe and make sure people are following