THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- </span>Novel idea: Can the spin, tell the truth<span class="s1">
What do you do with your ideas? How do you get them traction? It used to be you made a sales pitch.
But today young people are paring the pitch down to its core and parodying the BS that surrounds it. Among young people, there's a general dislike for the classic idea of sales.
"Our company is not a sales-based organization," says Siamak Taghaddos of GotVMail, a virtual phone service. "We educate people. I believe in letting people make their own decision."
Spin doctors on sales teams are out, and authentic communications are in. That's why many companies do not have a sales button on their website, but they do have a blog, a way of getting out information in an authentic, efficient way, which is the best path to acceptance.
The power of authenticity for the new generation cannot be overstated. Guy Kawasaki, founder of Garage Technology Ventures, is a notable voice of authenticity on his blog, Signal Without Noise.
While most people with Kawasaki's experience rely on the power of their reputation to push their ideas, Kawasaki relies on authenticity. He feels obligated to issue real, useful information, information with value.
He initiates conversations rather than issuing one-way declarations. He posts each day knowing his value is the usefulness of the information he provides. The tacit agreement is paying off: in the pool of millions of blogs, his is one of the 50 most popular
What do you do to act on ideas and convey them with authenticity? Consider.
1. Jettison the stupid stuff. "Ninety percent of selling an idea is having a good idea," says Kawasaki. "People think that the difficulty is marketing and sales. But with a good idea you can screw up marketing and sales" and still succeed.
2. Become the anti-salesman. One of young people's complaints about working in big companies is that no one listens to their ideas. Outside a company, entrepreneurs have a good idea and move on it. But inside a company, new products get stalled. "Being an entrepreneur and an 'intrapraneur' are similar," Kawasaki says. "The key for an intrapraneur is not trying to get permission."
3. Start a conversation instead of a canned speech. People want information and don't tolerate fluff. If you want someone to believe in what you're doing, be good on your feet.
4. Find people who need you. Kim Ricketts creates book events at corporations. Bringing authors to companies fills a need– to give employees the chance to hear new thinkers. Ricketts' events show how good ideas gain traction quickly, with little or no marketing, because they answer a customer's problem
5. Focus on information. Often, an in-person sales pitch to a young person is like a blinking IM message to a Boomer: an unwanted interruption. If you've been selling for decades, tone it down, because you sound desperate to a new generation, and also a little dishonest. If you have a good product, the facts speak for themselves.
6. Be your true self. Worry as much about yourself as your product. Be authentic: Lay a foundation for a company and yourself. "If you're how you want people to perceive you," Taghaddos says, "then people will like you and buy your product without any pressure."