The Proof Is in the Selling

Is your company achieving its potential creatively? The proof is in the selling.

If the final product is compromised in any way, ask yourself, "Were the concessions absolutely necessary, or did someone simply not do a good job shepherding the idea through to completion?" In other words, "Did we simply not sell the idea?"

Ifyour ideas are compromised too deeply too often, maybe it's not the quality of the ideas or the execution; maybe it's a lack of ability to have others see the brilliance in the idea or the lack of ability to get others to let go of their preconceptions long enough to see the potential of the new idea. (Do I dare say the inability for others to lobotomize themselves, conceptually? Or perhaps your inability to lobotomize them? Ouch.)

Improving your creative output means also improving your creative sell success rate.

This up and to the right line assumes you are always getting better at generating great ideas.

This chart also assumes that, like most companies, your creative sell success rate is less than great.

The creative sell success rate at most companies looks like this.

Truly living up to your creative potential means increasing your ability to sell your ideas, because even if you increase the quality of your ideas, if your sell success rate is still low, how much have you really improved?

A higher sell rate narrows the gap.

Idea Quality

Idea Quality

Now you might be asking what all this talk of selling ideas has to do with creativeness. Well, actually, it has a great deal to do with cre-ativeness. As we illustrated early on in this book, creativity is problem solving. Ask anyone who is in sales for a living and they'll tell you that selling is problem solving as well. So you shouldn't have to get an Ein-steinian haircut to deduce that selling requires creativity.

in my role as a creative thinking coach i am often brought in to work with sales forces. I must tell you, the best of their ranks are as brilliant creatively as are any people i encounter in the business world—and that includes the self-proclaimed ground zero of creativity, ad agency creative departments. The best salespeople have curious minds, they have active minds, they seek fresh perspectives. This sounds a lot like the "dreamer" personality type from Chapter 18, "Mind Farming." Read on, read on.

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