Wrong Thinking

Another sales idea gleaned from guests on Evan Davis’ Bottom Line. Vacuum cleaner game changer and über inventor James Dyson uses an approach to innovation that has an application for sales campaign planning. He advocates a mindset that he calls wrong thinking.

A quick web search uncovers more useful insight, although they tend to major on examples like his hunch to ignore market researchers when they said people wouldn’t want a see-through dust collector (whereas he knew it’d be compelling).

Yet in this show, his slant was about how to approach the creative process. When we’re shaping overall bids and next action deal tactics, his framework is well worth bearing in mind.

Most people, he believes, try and think of the “right” way to find a solution, come up with an idea or answer a problem. In fact, he recommends that you should follow a contrary path. So he first thinks of the “wrong” way. Deliberately think of how you would not reach your goal. That apparently takes you to a “better” result.

This and more of his experience can be found on this five minute video on more of his thinking (half-way down the page, the section I mainly refer to starts around 1’20” in).

Rather than follow the logical path, go in the opposite direction. Sure, your first attempt won’t work, but the solution it takes you towards will be different (translation: better) than anyone else’s.

So next time you’re pulling your hair out about how to progress on a tricky deal, try a touch of ‘wrong think’.

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