“How do I convince my boss to try new ideas and technology?” That is one of the most popular questions I get during my speaking engagements. It’s often the young staff from businesses, churches, and organizations wanting to venture out into a social media campaign or a dynamic new mobile tool or app who face push back from leaders who don’t understand or are threatened by the new and unfamiliar. So how do you get your point across to yesterday’s generation without frustrating them and getting shut down?
Often you have to use yesterday’s language to sell today’s idea to accomplish tomorrow’s mission.
Church marketing is a perfect illustration for this principle. While some leaders might argue whether or not churches should be in the marketing business, most will agree that every church should be in the evangelism business. Often in my conversations with church leaders I speak of an outreach, or an evangelism plan instead of a marketing and branding campaign. At their core they are the same–how can we reach more people with the message of the Gospel–but language makes a huge impact in the way an audience responds to them.
If you’re having a difficult time getting buy in for your idea, try rethinking the way you’re communicating it. Describe your new concept in a way that resonates with your audience. Use a frame of reference that makes sense to them. While you might need to revamp your website, what you are ultimately trying to do is to reach and connect with more people. It’s hard for someone to shoot down “digital evangelism” or the creation of a stronger “sales channel,” as you make the case for an e-commerce site. In certain circles, a social media campaign, might be framed as a “new acquisition strategy.” Don’t underestimate the power words have to persuade.
What has been your experience in selling new ideas to an older generation?