Ian’s Articles available on Forbes.com

One of the most common questions I get from attendees when I speak at conferences and events is about their frustration earning attention from potential clients. Executives and sales professionals share the same complaint about figuring out how to entice interest from their individuals they seek to turn into paying customers. People will tell me that nobody even returns their calls. The fact is that your information would be incredibly valuable and clients would call back if you could predict the future.

It may sound unrealistic to predict the future. What if you could spot tends in your industry before anyone else could spot them? If you had a sense of where an industry was headed or what trends will be emerging over the coming months or years, your clients would line up to meet with you. You’d have insight they could use to achieve extraordinary results. Imagine if you had that knowledge.

The Expert On Predicting The Future

I had the opportunity to interview Rohit Bhargava for the Grow My Revenue Business Cast. Rohit is the WSJ and Amazon bestselling author of Non-Obvious, How to Think Different, Curate Ideas, and Predict the Future. Annually for the past several years, Rohit has capably predicted some of the most impactful trends across industries. Rohit and I discussed how he curates ideas. I first asked him about spotting trends. “People often think about spotting trends. Instead, curate patterns that point to trends,” said Bhargava. Rohit shared the following five habits you can adopt to help you curate and identify trends others overlook.

Be observant.
The first habit to adopt is to be more observant. Look at the world around you and notice what is going on. Pay special attention to the insignificant things, things others would normally overlook. By doing so you’ll pick up on trends others would also overlook.

Be curious.
Because everyone makes the suggestion to be more curious Rohit shares a specific trick he uses to be more curious. He goes into an airport bookstore when he’s traveling and he buys a magazine that is not geared towards him. It could be anything from a magazine about buying knives to teen girls’ fan magazines.

Be thoughtful.
His next habit he encourages you to adopt is to be thoughtful. Take time to think. You have some of your best ideas in the shower because you’re allowing yourself time to think. Rohit does this by collecting information over the course of the year, puts all of it in a folder and then reviews it at the end of that year.

Be fickle.
Rohit says to be fickle when cultivating the ability to see trends. He simply means when you have an idea, capture it and then move on. Don’t get stuck on one thing or you’ll miss other important potential trends.

Be elegant.
And finally adopt the habit of being elegant. Express the trends you see in beautiful and descriptive ways. When you’re explaining trends be descriptive yet memorable; be intentional with every word you use when talking about trends.

Just identifying the trend is not enough. In the Interview, Rohit shares how to take big picture trends and apply them within specific industries. In such an information-overload era that we live in, your ability to apply trends to a specific industry can be invaluable to your clients.

It’s Your Turn

What trends have you noticed? Have you been able to meet with would-be clients because of your knowledge of trends in that industry? How are you predicting the future?

How To Identify Trends And Predict The Future

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