Sales Tips

Obama, McCain, Politicians? Sales Professionals?

By September 11, 2008 No Comments

I want to assure you from the outset that this is neither a political endorsement nor a diatribe against one of the candidates. It is merely an observation.

We all of us have always observed that there is a lot of selling going on from any politician, whether s/he is running for office or not. So that is not new.

But how about the age old sales principal of influencing the basis of a buying decision by getting your prospect to focus on one of your strengths rather than a weakness? In selling this is one of the ways you know if you are selling against competition or you are in a green field situation. If your prospect is asking you pointed questions about a feature or set of features that your competition has and you don’t, then it is safe to assume that your competition has gotten to this prospect before you and is setting the sales agenda.

So what to do? Probe for what features are critical in the prospect’s environment, not just nice to have, but very important, and then redirect the sales focus again if you can. The need has to be more important than the one being addressed by your competition. If it isn’t there is no chance you can redirect your prospects’ attention.

The Presidential Campaign has just provided us a text book example of this principal at work. Obama has been the candidate of change and McCain the candidate of anti-terrorism for most of the campaign. This was true right up to the Republican national convention.

Fearing the loss of the election, fearing who knows what, someone, maybe McCain, maybe someone in his inner circle of advisors, decided to co-opt the “change” message. They did it brilliantly. First, select a female running mate. Then characterize both parts of the ticket as the “original mavericks”. And then say it over and over again, – “We are the candidates of change!” Here is a look at what McCain had to say on the subject.  McCain Change is coming Part 5 of 7.

And to be balanced Obama isn’t rolling over. Obama Acceptance Speech at the Democratic National Convention.

We can all take a lesson here. Choose the agenda for the sales campaign. Position yourself and your product or service in the mind of your prospect or you will find yourself positioned by your competition. If you find yourself in a box, examine the opportunity carefully and if you are convinced you are the better solution then out maneuver your competition by appealing to a more important need. Do it well enough and your opponent won’t recover. Let’s see if Obama and Biden and the Democrats can reset the agenda that the McCain Palin Republican team has reset on them.

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