Mike Collins was tired of inventors throwing money away, tired of the means by and ways in which they were marketing themselves and their product. And having worked in the field of innovation for nearly a decade, he decided to detail his experiences and the experiences other successful (and not so successful) individuals in a novel. “The Million Idea in Everyone” arrives in all major bookstores later this month.
The book offers practical, easily digestible advice to inventors. One such topic? Selling, which although Mike states is “so important to inventing” is often perceived negatively.
“Inventors often tell me that they feel uncomfortable selling themselves and their product, as if they’re a used car salesman or a telemarketer interrupting family dinner.”
But this, Mike informs us, is an erroneous perception. And maintaining it can seriously hamper your efforts.
“View your interaction as a conversation,” Mike advocates instead. “Successful selling involves an equal degree of listening, if not more. Make working on your invention a collaborative approach by asking questions, rather than ‘Here it is. Do you love it?” Ask, have you ever experienced this problem? What are some of the shortcomings of existing products? What’s your reaction to my solution? What are the faults you see in it? What needs improvement?”
And most importantly, avoid “yes” or “no” questions.
“Innovation is evolutionary. Your product will need to undergo change and development. Yes or no questions can potentially close doors and lead to dead ends. You’re ultimately going to succeed when your product matches the needs of the client.”
As a final piece of advice, Mike offers hope for inventors.
“A lot of inventing is finding the right problem to work on. If you can identify a really great problem, a unique, interesting, and highly relevant problem, then you already have a great start on the solution. The problem is as important as the solution. If you take the time to uncover really neat problems, you’ll be impressed with the quality of solutions you will produce.”
Check out Mike’s roadshows with BIG across the country, and his new book!
Click Here to listen to the second part of this interview.