When pitching a proposal/ idea/ thought/ strategy to someone, we typically go into the meeting with the goal of obtaining a ‘yes’. ‘Yes’ signifies a chance to move forward onto the next phase of development.
However, if the audience of the pitch says ‘yes’, but is actually unsure and has concerns but doesn’t voice them, you will have a problem further down the line. This can happen for any number of reasons – they are confused, not really listening, they trust you too much, they don’t have the headspace to work through your pitch properly, they don’t want to offend you, they are running late for their next meeting.
When your project hits a speed bump (the more innovative the project, the more speed bumps you will hit), their original concerns will now surface in the form of… “I didn’t think that was a good idea”; the wheels will fall off and you have just lost a lot of time and the entire project may now be in jeopardy.
So instead of heading into a meeting with the objective of obtaining a ‘yes’, seek to understand their concerns. In fact spend time uncovering and exploring them as deeply as you can, so you can use them as a way to strengthen the proposal/ idea/ thought/ strategy. When you present back you will now have a stronger proposition, that results in a ‘yes’ that’s a ‘yes’, and an ally when you hit your next speed bump.