Big ideas can be hard to sell, as people are hardwired to protect the status quo, says a recent Kellogg Insight.
Loran Nordgren, an associate professor at the Kellogg School, offers tips to help you make the case for innovation and change:
Let people know what they’re missing. Selling your idea by emphasizing the benefits may not be the best approach. It’s more effective to pitch the innovation as a potential opportunity lost, as we feel the pain of loss more acutely than the pleasure of gain.
Let people experience the benefits. People value something more once it is in their possession. Nordgren uses the example of free previews for premium cable channels. “The decision to pay a certain amount for movie channels you are currently not enjoying is psychologically distinct from the decision to give up something that you have already enjoyed and experienced.”
Win over a critical mass. The most persuasive evidence for why someone should innovate often comes from the behavior of those around them. People fear being left behind. But patience is key, Nordgren warns. Don’t rush immediately to the key stakeholder—the person who could kill the idea or help it materialize. “First, try the idea out on people who are favorable. You want to be able to go to the key stakeholder and say, ‘four of the five directors have approved this,’ or, ‘we’ve successfully tested an early version.'”
See the full Kellogg Insight: “Four Tips to Persuade Others Your Idea Is a Winner.”