Communities, Facebook Groups, podcasts are the place where designers, innovators, and entrepreneurs go to figure out where their gaps are, and the most effective way to fill them. The reason this content, and also why I personally podcast, is so important is because disruption is happening around us all the time. This age of acceleration and exponential change we are experiencing is creating a ton of opportunity for innovators to come in and disrupt in so many areas. On the flipside, everything is new and there is so much change, the marketplace can seem messy and daunting.

Packaging + Selling Disruption

I chatted with with Business Growth Strategist, Mark S A Smith, from the Selling Disruption podcast because all of this change is creating a need for new tactics and strategies to effectively package and sell disruptive and innovative products. Smith has been at the forefront of all that for decades now. He has a great understanding and insight into how customers think, how they make decisions, how we react and how we buy things, and what consumers and/or business to business or multilevel purchasing works. He says that hasn't changed at all. It's just the strategy, tactics, and the process that we use along the way.

Let's Talk About Google

More than twenty-five percent of what is getting put into Google every single day is brand-new. Google's never seen it before. It's because new things are coming up every day, new ways for us to describe it, and new terms that you've never heard of before. What this tells us is that selling disruption, things that are innovative, things that are difficult to explain or that are complicated, requires a different strategy. Think about it like this: If you're selling something that's new and disruptive, what do people know to put into Google or ask Alexa? They don't.

Brandcasting Is Effective and Often Overlooked

And because we have this challenge that people don't know what to type into Google when we first get started, this idea of having a conversation with people about the disruptive product and then creating the transcription and turning it into a blog helps us come up with lots and lots of 'layman-style' keywords as we describe this new product. Google loves fresh content with those keywords and people are much more likely to find us in a search environment if we're using language patterns that they understand. Everybody that I talked to who has a new innovative product is, if you're not doing a videocast or podcast, you're leaving a lot of customers in the dark.

Reducing Perceived Risks

Lastly, because we are out of space, because this could go on for a few more pages I think, let's talk about reducing risk. I've got my 7-P system and so does Smith. So let's close out on this very effective breakdown on reducing risk.

7 P's for Reducing Risk

  1. Proof: Proof of concepts, case studies, and proof in context. You need to be able to illustrate that you can deliver what you say you're going to deliver. Both us agree this step is absolutely step one in any business or product venture.
  2. Process: Show the complex process of how you do work together (with the potential client), and break the risks down into phases. No executive will ever say yes to a project they don't know how to manage
  3. Progress: Illustrate that every time they have contact with you, their clarity improves, and they are learning and growing in the process. 
  4. Position: Recognize and prove your position in the marketplace versus everyone else."I am here to..."
  5. Price: If you can radically reduce the cost, it's worth the value of taking the risk because they can always fall back on the old vendor. You're not always going to use that, but there should be some radical improvement in their productivity or their efficiency in some way so that the people who say yes to the risk are rewarded. There has to be a risk-reward pay-off. In the product world, this is my third step because pricing is not as flexible as it is in services and the wrong price can put you out of the market before you even start.
  6. Prestige: Is doing business with you going to give clients "bragging power"?
  7. Parachute: If something goes wrong, what is your backup plan? "If it doesn't work out the way we planned, we will make this one hundred percent right. To do that requires outrageous guarantees such as if it doesn't work out the way we've promised, we're going to rip it out, then we're going to bring in at our expense, another third party, a consultant that's going to assess this. We're going to pay the difference between what you paid us and getting the proper item in place.

You've got to have proof, and the proof has to be absolutely within context to your customer. From there, you have to carve out the risk to ensure that your innovation can survive the radically changing market you are hoping to tap into. You've also got to make sure you have systems in place and a strategy for each phase of your potential growth. Selling innovation isn't easy, and if you can't see yourself doing it for the next 10-years, don't bother. But if you can, and you want it bad enough, because you know you have something that will change the world, start here, and do your research, and only make the leap when you know, without a doubt, that you are in it to win it.

Published on: Nov 8, 2018