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Chapter 7: How to Sell Your Ideas

Overview

For many years I worked with James Kinnear, the president and chief executive officer of Texaco, during the most challenging period of its history. James Kinnear was an Annapolis graduate, a decorated Korean War hero, and one of the most effective executives I’ve ever worked with. He was speaking on the subject of ideas one day and said:

A good idea isn’t worth a darn, unless you can sell it to someone else.

As I heard that statement, I thought to myself, “Those words should be put on a plaque and hung in every office.” We have to be able to sell our ideas or they die. So is there a better procedure for selling an idea? Darn right there is. In our Communispond Executive Presentation Skills Program we suggest a format.

How to Sell an Idea Format

  1. Problem Cause

  2. Negative Effects

  3. Idea Recommendation

  4. Benefits to the Audience

  5. Evidence

  6. Summary of Recommendation and Benefits (3 and 4)

  7. Calendar Action

But let’s not just take that on faith. This format has been taught to thousands of executives who have used it effectively, and I have, too.


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