15: Product management is selling
This content was originally published more than five years ago and is archived here for preservation.
More up-to-date content is available on this blog.
I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned about being a product manager.
Contrary to what you may think, most of product management is actually selling. You are continually selling new product concepts, ideas for improvement as well as pitches for projects. What you may not realise is that what most people think is selling isn’t actually selling. Selling is listening, understanding, empathy and only then does persuasion factor in.
Selling is listening, understanding, empathy and only then does persuasion factor in
You need to understand what is important to the people you’re talking to and explain why your proposal will be in their interest. Although it may seem a little counter-intuitive, tell them what will be the downsides for them and how you plan to mitigate them. It’s generally better to be up-front rather than give the misleading impression that everything will be peachy. Moreover, it will demonstrate you’ve thought through your proposal with some diligence and understood what matters to them.
Explain your reasoning and at best you’ll achieve consensus, at worst you’ll uncover new information that may cause you to rethink and improve your approach.
Read more from Jock
The Practitioner’s Guide to Product Management
by Jock Busuttil
“I wish this book was published when I started out in product management”
Keji A., Head of Product