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How to Sell Your Ideas More Effectively

There are three questions you need to anticipate.

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BY Quora - 03 Aug 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

How do I pitch an idea? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Jonathan Brill, Has had hundreds of meetings with angels, VCs, and investors, on Quora:

Generally, you don't want to pitch an idea. Ideas without context of demand aren't obviously useful to people, and unless you're owed a favor by important people or are genuinely influential yourself, you shouldn't expect passersby to give you the time you need to explain it. In context, however, a slightly different story:

• You could pitch a solution to people with a problem

• You could pitch a business opportunity to people who invest in such things

• You could pitch an idea for new technology to people in a company that know how to bring such things to market

In any of these meetings, the person on the receiving end will be thinking about three questions:

• Could this person's idea work?

• Is this idea likely to produce a return worth the required time and investment?

• If so, is it likely that this person could execute on this idea better than I could?

That third one is the tricky one. People with demands, for solutions, business opportunities, and new technology, are made aware of ideas all the time. It's not too difficult to vet an idea. You do some due diligence, some market research, a focus group, and you can effectively mitigate the risk of an idea just being misaligned or not feasible.

What may not be as obvious is that the execution part is just as clear to them. They know what competence and credibility in their domain looks like. They may occasionally get it wrong, but people who can execute, by hiring a team or raising money or producing a working prototype, show clear signals of being able to execute. The clearest being, of course, that they've done it before.

This is slightly different when pitching an idea to a company you work for. In that case, maybe you won't need to pitch your ability to execute; but then your idea will end up belonging to the person who can.

This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

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