This article first appeared December 8, 2011.
How many times have you heard this from a sales person or even a staff member? “I’ve got a great idea for you! It will slash our costs by X% and could increase our sales by Y%!”
Now, when I was a young Taskmaster, I would often get really excited by these claims. “You can? Well, that’s brilliant!”
But time and experience has taught me that these questions demand a different answer, which is: “Oh yeah? Prove it!”
Many entrepreneurs and managers forget about looking for evidence to support people’s claims. There are two good reasons for this: either we get too excited about the claim, or the process of collecting hard data to support it is too hard.
That’s not good enough. Data, case studies, testimonials and examples should certainly be part of any sales persons’ pitch and staff with great ideas should be encouraged to develop this sort of evidence.
This shouldn’t dissuade you from chasing ideas that don’t have evidence, but it does mean you need to find some. Run some experiments or tests and see what evidence comes back.
Get it done – today!