Sales Lessons from this Election Season
NOTE: This piece was written on Election Day 2016. Due to the climate following the election results, I waited to release it until now. Regardless of your political affiliation, I hope you will openly receive the lessons and borrow my learning lens to use each and every day.
It’s finally here: Election Day! No matter your beliefs, I know we can all agree: it’s been one heck of a crazy ride to get us here.
This morning, as I was getting ready so I could head to my polling place and exercise (I really need to implement some other exercising, too!) my right to vote, I began thinking about how this election season has unfolded. The Sales Barista inside me began analyzing everything and BAM! Just like that, I realized some fundamental sales truths this election season has demonstrated perfectly.
Since Facebook appeared to be the biggest battleground state in the country, most of the lessons stem from behavior I witnessed in my newsfeed. Unfollow much? It’s incredible what you can learn when you view something through a learning lens.
Four sales truths everyone can learn from this election season:
1. Stats and Stories Sell. Opinions don’t. I would repeatedly see many people trying to make their voting case through their own opinions. We all know about opinions. Everyone has one. In this especially heightened competitive atmosphere, opinions are not persuasive. However, statistics are much more convincing and accepted. Want to dig in even deeper? Personal stories are usually the most persuasive. It’s the same in sales. If you are selling something, don’t lead with your opinion. You can always insert it, if asked. Instead, lead with stats and customer stories. It’s the easiest way to highlight the benefits of your product or service. It’s also truth-based. If you are able to tell what is true about working with you, you make a much better case than if you just spew opinions. Do you have a prepared list of statistics and customer stories ready to use during your sales interaction?
2. Check Your Facts. Since we’re talking about stats, let me make one thing clear: make sure they are accurate. The fact checker quickly became a superstar during this election, and both candidates were known to tell a fib or two (or 50)! Sometimes in sales you repeat what you have previously heard, believing it is truth. Not the best way to go. Be sure to first check your facts to know they are legitimate. The easiest way to lose a sale is to have your statements proven false. YIKES! Not only will you be called a liar, but your sales will also go up in fire. Do you have a way to check your facts before presenting them?
3. Know Your Audience. It’s really hard to sell a decided Trump voter on Hillary and vice-versa. I consistently witnessed people trying to persuade others to their “side” when it was very clear (at least to me) they were wasting their time and energy. It’s the same in sales. Know your audience, your target market, and your ideal client, whatever you want to identify it as. Knowing your audience will make sure you are not exhausting your time and resources attempting to sell to people who are most likely not going to buy from you. Do you know who makes up your target market?
4. Speak Positively. You can choose to speak ill about the competition or speak well about how you serve your clients. Which do you think more people would like to buy? Exactly. The political posts seemed to take a hard left into negativity when people were trying to “sell” the opposition on their candidate. Silly rabbit. Negative attacks are for NO ONE! Instead of trying to list all the competition’s negatives, a fundamental in sales is to highlight all the positives you bring to the table. It’s key to your selling success and engaging your clients in the correct manner. Do you lead with positive attributes when explaining your product or service?
These four sales truths are fundamental basics to be applied no matter your product, service, or industry. When you implement them correctly, you have a higher likelihood the prospect will cast their vote for you.
Final Thought: America is not red. America is not blue. America is PURPLE. I wish more people would wrap their pretty little heads around this fact. If they did, they would understand we must extend grace over judgment, help over hindrance, and respect above all else. If we all would color ourselves purple, our country would not fail. It would prevail.