Why do I Care? Getting Others to Invest in Your Ideas

man not caring about ideas

Why do I Care? It’s a simple question that is crucial to whether or not your idea sells, but it is frequently overlooked. Professional salesperson or not, we all have a degree of selling in our lives whether it’s convincing the kids to run errands with you or convincing a client to adopt one of your ideas.

If you’re taking the time to write or speak about any topic, you likely view it as important. However, while the worth of a topic might be evident to you, you can’t assume others will care, at least not in the same way. For this reason, when you say “Why do I care?” you should speak from the perspective of the audience. You must put yourself in the audience’s place and try to understand in what way your ideas have relevance in their life, not yours. As technologists we understand our subject matter at a level of detail deeper than most any audience we will confront. To be successful in sharing our knowledge, we need to bridge that ever-present gap in understanding, and establish a rapport with our audience. That is only possible when we have a clear picture of what they want, what moves them, what they find relevant, all of which will help us show them why they should care.

So how do you uncover this information? Whether you’re writing a presentation, a technical document, or a simple report specification, you need to place yourself in the seat of your audience to connect with what drives them. A presentation to a Chief Operating Officer on the efficiencies gained through skillful data collection and generation of predictive models might appeal to other technologists, but it won’t appeal to a typical COO… unless you add those few bullet points which show how streamlining their supply chain will result in improved margins and greater profit. That they’ll understand. The rest is just tech speak and you’ll be tuned out. Make these relevant points early. You can’t wait until minute 60 to form that bond.

Similarly, the inherent value of the robust and redundant infrastructure you are proposing might be incredibly obvious to you, but what is that infrastructure to a CFO? It will simply appear as expensive until you qualify its worth by projecting the real dollar losses that would be incurred if a system went down and they could not invoice customers. Now you’re speaking their language and showing them why they should care about your ideas.
We share ideas to add value to others lives, but unless we prove we understand their lives, we will fail to add value. People don’t bond over dashboards or metadata or best-in-breed software platforms. People bond over successes and failures, emotion, empathy, and yes…caring.