There are so many places innovation can take place. This morning I was prospecting for new business. I just got off a call where I was offering a 30-Day free trial for one of our online lead generation solutions. The person I was talking to has to get it approved by his VP of Sales. He let me know that he had a conversation with him last week and he told his VP of Sales that since it was a free trial, it just made sense to try it out. Yes, it does make sense to try something new. Especially when it is essentially risk-free and cost-free.
It’s amazing to me how many times, when I offer the same free trial, I talk to people who are close-minded and say “no thanks, we are good”. Now, having been in sales for close to 15 years, I’m no stranger to getting told NO, BUT, it still baffles me that some people don’t have a mindset of innovation. Sure, they may be working diligently to optimize their current strategy and operation, but that shouldn’t blind them from periodically, or when the opportunity presents itself, looking for new ways to do things. After all, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is… well, you get the idea. Now more than ever, it is critical to seek out and test new ways to generate new business.
So, that led me to think. “What else should we, as business professionals, be innovating?”
Here are a few I thought of this morning:
1. Innovate your skill set.
I’ll keep this one short and just summarize by what we all know. Never stop learning. Whether you read books at the beach or on a flight; or if you listen to audio books in your car while you drive from place to place, it should be a priority to learn all types of skills from other experts.
2. Innovate the way you tell your story.
Whether you are telling someone about yourself or about your company, make sure you can articulate a clear, concise, well thought out, and enticing story that will make people want to learn more. If you are introducing yourself, share something that will make you memorable. If you are talking about your company, say something short and different that will make people ask, “Well, how do you do that?” For example, often when someone I meet asks me what I do, I’ll tell them I help companies make more money. Most of the time, they’ll ask me what that means or how I do it.
3. Innovate your schedule.
When do you have the most energy? What time of day do you have the most focus? When are you the most creative? More importantly, how often do you move your schedule (or, your work tasks) around to experiment? I’ve found that by testing different types of activities at different times in the day I can get much more done when I really apply a focused energy. Regarding the things that aren’t especially fun or enjoyable, I usually get them done first thing in the morning to get them out of the way and out of my head.
What are your thoughts on innovation?