Two Most Important Words When
Selling Your Idea or Invention
inventors, invention ideas seemingly fall into
their laps - that's the easy part. Things take a
difficult turn when they try to get anyone to
talk business about their idea.
Often an inventor's latest brainstorm results in
the greatest idea in the world that's sure to
make millions and solve problems that face
everyday people. Unfortunately, the world
doesn't work so easily. Most business people
won't talk about ideas on the fly, because
they're understandable busy. So, how do you get
through and open a dialogue? With a product
Unfortunately for inventors, there
are dozens of companies salivating
at the mouth ready to try to
convince someone that their ticket
to the good life is a
poorly-rendered hand-drawn depiction
of their invention with a lump of
wax and a patent. Sure these
organizations are quick to take
someone's money, but do they convey
an inventor's vision and clearly
demonstrate it? Will that patent
protect an idea that needs to be
changed for manufacturing? To answer
these questions and have a serious
business dialogue, an inventor needs
a working product sample that almost
looks like it was pulled right off
the shelf of a retail store.
Business people deal in the world of reality, so
make it easy for them to see you mean business.
A long time ago, I tried to sell ideas from
patent drawings, as well as fancy artist
renditions of my concepts. It got me nowhere.
After a great deal of effort, and in some cases
arguments with company executives I wanted to
work with, I heard, "I can't show this to my
retail buyer for an order or a commitment for an
order." I then realized that manufacturers
produced new product samples complete with
engineering and full-color graphics to show
potential retail buyers. These buyers want
products, not wax models and not pieces of paper
with fancy drawings.
Put yourself in a corporate decision-maker's
shoes. You see one person walk into your office
with a product idea sketched onto a piece of
paper. You review it, but have little
information to indicate if your current
factories can produce this or if it even works.
You're sure a retailer won't make a decision on
something they can't interact with. Now, a
second person walks in with a new product ready
for manufacturing with full-color sample
packaging that matches your current line of
selling products. In addition, they've provided
you with engineering drawings that detail the
manufacturing requirements of the product.
Well, you're the decision maker, who's ready to
do business and who came unprepared?
In review, don't
let anyone tell you you're going to be rich with
just an idea. If someone does and they're trying
to sell you services, think twice. Pursuing your
invention takes work and it's risky. Also, you
need a product sample that can be manufactured.
Show decision makers you mean business and don't
waste their valuable time.