Is it true that the more you think about an issue, the greater your chances of resolving it? I’m not necessarily convinced, yet I do know that if you generate more ideas on something, then you are more likely to hit upon a winner.
Brainstorming with yourself can be quite tricky. Even more so if you use shaky alternate terms like ‘idea showers’ or ‘spitballing ideas’. But what I’ve found is that increasing your ability to constantly think of new angles does make chances of success higher.
I rarely get the opportunity to riff brand new ideas with other people. So, tending to have to come up with them myself, I’ve learned that it is often not the initial idea you have which leads you to the pot of gold, but maybe the fourth or fifth along the line. These subsequent ideas, sometimes wildly tangential to yet triggered by the original, are the ones you need to travel towards.
The ultimate success rate for your ideas becoming translated into real-life actions may be worse than for silicon valley start-ups, but at least it’s better to have several rather than one.
And this is where the relevance to selling emerges. I am going through a period of trying to gain an initial set of clients for a new service I’ve created. I do not yet know which pitches will provide long-term results. So I’m determined to test out several. Coming up with multiple hooks, straplines and emails is tough, but I’m certain having more than one solitary approach to test will quicker light up the way ahead.
And here’s one way in which my ideas generate. I’m noting down all the reasons why people on the phone ‘turn down’ my pitch. These are not necessarily objections, often they’re stop-signs thrown out as an automatic defence mechanism, but they are all barriers that show what must be overcome. On the basis that the best ideas help people solve problems, if I can identify things that this barrier can lead to, then I’m in with a new flow of ideas.