Good developer ideas. How to sell them well?
There are many great programmers, perhaps even visionaries, but most of them no one has heard of. Even the closest environment. Unfortunately, that’s the sad truth. So what if you’re good as a coder and you have great ideas if you can’t sell them? Unfortunately, this world is already so constructed that the winners are the people who can break through with their ideas. Reality is brutal. Even the most brilliant programmer with the most inventive ideas doesn’t count if he sits quietly in a corner. Always wins coder-talker, an open man, who is everywhere full, even if his idea is much worse.
On the other hand, you can look at the problem from a different angle: only those ideas that can be realized are effectivewhich will be directed to the implementation. That’s why it’s so important to be able to sell your idea effectively.
It should also be emphasized that most often a programmer who is able to sell his ideas is perceived in the workplace and by his superiors as more effective and more valuable. It’s not irrelevant to his career. Of course, you can bet that you will present your revolutionary solutions and ideas when you are directly asked to do so, but it will soon turn out that such situations will occur very rarely.
If you want promotions and to be seen as a good programmer, a great professional, and not just a craftsman, you have to act. Fortunately, everyone can learn to effectively sell their ideas. Help in this a few simple rules.
Instead of arguing, convince
It would seem that nothing is as effective as a factual, clear-cut argument, especially in the case of technical people. Nothing more wrong, because often the moment an argument arises, the persuasion disappears. When you try to win someone over, to convince them of your idea, using arguments, you are doomed to failure. Bombarded with arguments, even the most rational, brings such an effect that the other side almost certainly it will trigger a defense mechanism and you will achieve nothing..
A much more effective way is to be persuasive, persuasion. By the way, this is a very useful skill in different life situations. A huge number of books have been written about persuasion and persuasion, and various courses are organized to teach this. The easiest way is find common ground, look for similarities with the interlocutor, look at the problem through his eyes.
You need to pay a lot of attention not only to what, but also how it is suggested. Instead of showing how innovative your idea is, it is better to focus on what benefits the company will get from its implementation (for example, reducing project execution time, etc.).). That’s the quickest way to convince the boss.
Aim for an idea like Socrates
It was no accident that we brought the great Greek philosopher here. Socrates mastered to perfection the art of getting to the truth, directing. It seemed that the philosopher himself was pretending that he knew nothing and was trying to get to the truth, and he expected help and instruction from the interlocutor in this. He did not convince the interlocutors of his point of view, but he showed weaknesses in their views and extracted from the other man the knowledge hidden in him.
The point is that lead in the direction of a given idea, idea, and not explain it directly. Then the interlocutor will be amazed to discover that he has found an effective solution with your help. Using this method, however, you have to accept that you will not be able to attribute only to yourself a good idea.
High communication and interpersonal skills are essential if you want to sell your ideas effectively. We wrote more about this kind of competencies in Article 8 soft skills useful to programmers. If you are interested, we invite you to read. Here we want to emphasize only that it is really worth investing time and effort in improving the ability to establish contact with another person, in developing communicability. The simpler you can explain your ideas, the more likely that someone will be interested in them. It is best to focus on short, factual messages and build them up with examples familiar to the interlocutor.
Support yourself with the authority of others and build your own
A very effective technique in selling your own ideas is support yourself with the authority of a reliable person with a lot of experience. This is a good solution especially for young programmers just starting their career. Such people, even if they have interesting ideas, can immediately be met with contempt or at least with frivolous treatment.
Resistance often stems from a sense of danger: rookie wants to lecture us? Who is he, What right does he have to get smart? It is quite different when you come up with your idea, armed at the same time with the authority of a well-known expert. Instead of saying that this is your idea, better refer to some book, blog, post of a well-known coder on the forum, etc. Then you will certainly not immediately become too much, but you will arouse interest. At the same time, it is worth building your own authority, for example, by publishing articles on the internet, running an industry blog, contributing to forums, etc. By building your brand as an expert developer, you create both Authority and strong support for your future ideas.
Convince by educating
Another effective way to sell an idea is education. If you pass on knowledge, you teach your coworkers, other people will be more open to you, willing to listen to what you have to say. You can adopt a completely different strategy than direct persuasion of an idea. Sometimes a very effective and attractive method is to prepare a presentation on the proposed solution and use it to educate-what the idea is, how the solution works, how it should be implemented, where you can find additional information on this topic (books, internet, documentation, etc.).). In this case, first you sell knowledge, information, and then the idea itself.
Don’t get discouraged right away if you can’t sell the idea. Efficiency requires practice. Therefore, it is worth constantly trying and practicing skills. You’ll eventually become proficient at it.
Remember that an effective programmer is not one who has good ideas, but one who is able to convince others of his solutions and put them into practice. This is what we wish all ambitious coders!