It’s easy to spot a big idea because it’s usually followed by the thought that it will never happen. In The Science of Getting Rich, published in 1910 (find the free e-book online), Wallace Wattles examines what separates those who make it big from those who always seem to fall short of their goals. According to Wattles, one of the key strategies that wealthy entrepreneurs use is a Thought in Formless Substance—otherwise known as the big idea.
Imagine driving down a street with woods on one side of the road and thinking that it would be a great place to build a convention center for your growing metropolitan area. Most people who have that idea would just keep on driving because the idea is too big for them to handle. Wealthy entrepreneurs, however, are not scared of the big idea; they even welcome not having the answers up front. Instead, they keep that idea in their conscious mind, constantly thinking about it, which in turn leads to creative ideas on what the convention center might look like. Then they launch into the next steps—an architect, investors, contractors—until one day, their big idea, the Thought in Formless Substance, takes shape and opens as a brand new convention center.
As a Sales and Leadership expert, I assure you that this concept of the big idea is critical to sales, leadership, and Impact! If you want to Impact! your markets and grow your business significantly, you need a big idea. Why? Because selling features and benefits is a transactional game that leads to discounted pricing.
I shared an example of a big idea in my book Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way, in a case study of a specialty chemicals manufacturer selling a reagent that cut the cost of mining copper in half. Initially, the product itself was the big idea; it took the industry by storm when it launched. But like any unique offering, the competition sees the value, creates their own version, and before you know it, the originator’s market share starts to erode.
Then it’s time for a new big idea! In this case, we helped the client create a trademarked Minesite Services Program that put a man on site who helped with production issues and productivity. This program was so popular with the largest consumer of this product that when the bid came out, it called for a Minesite Services Program. The other multinational vendors did not know what that was, and it motivated my client’s customer to throw out the bid and negotiate a 10-year $200M agreement—the first of its kind in a traditional transactional bid market.
Don’t fear the big idea—and don’t avoid it! Next week we’ll look at five tips for creating your own big idea to Impact! your markets and achieve exponential results.