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This Simple Trick Can Help You Sell Ideas to Your Team Easily

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Have a bold new idea to improve performance at your store? Look for a way to present it as coming from far away, like an Icelandic design firm, a best-selling French business consultant or an innovative Turkish goldsmith (and not inspired by a suggestion from your spouse, which may have been the case). A recent study by management scholar Jennifer Mueller found that when an idea’s presented as originating from a great distance, people picture it in the abstract: they grasp the gist, focus on the end goal, and appreciate the ingenuity. When it’s described as coming from nearby, they zoom in on detailed practicalities and imagine all the potential problems. It’s why employees (and friends) will listen sympathetically to an outside consultant’s ideas or something they found in a book, but if it comes from you … they only see reasons it won’t work.

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Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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