American presidential elections have been anything but boring! The race to the White House has called out the similarities that political campaigns have with the selling process. Presidential candidates –as sales professionals- have to understand their audience’s needs, define the right strategy to approach them, be able to deliver an excellent speech (over and over again), handle objections, criticism and rejection in the best possible way, and, last but not least, be able to close the sale on the Election Day!
Here at CPM, we tried to look at the presidential elections in a different way and start thinking about what salespeople can learn from it. Here are 3 lessons that we would like to highlight:
Understand your audience
The first lesson that salespeople can learn from US elections 2016 is the importance of knowing you audience. Trump and Hillary knew exactly who their niche was and designed messages that appeal to them. A message becomes more powerful when you deliver it to the right audience.
Salespeople must understand their market and define a clear buyer persona. After this step, they can tailor their sales speech based on their needs, hopes and dreams. Deep customer understanding is what helps sales professional to strive at work and hit their sales target.
Strategic & dynamic plan
Strong political candidates define a plan and stick to it. At an early stage of the process, both American contenders defined their key messages and areas to tackle in order to base their speeches around them. They were both consistent and dynamic at the same time. If changes needed to be made, they were executed but always ensured that a strong strategic plan was in place.
Salespeople should follow the same strategy. Even in tough market conditions, successful salespeople strive to adhere to a clearly defined plan and make adjustments if necessary. A dynamic sales process is less about being exciting or charismatic, like some politicians, and more about being able to adapt and evolve with market conditions and buyers’ expectations.
Understand the Competition
Politicians invest an important part of their time and money to understand their opponents and they also use their competitor’s weaknesses in their speech. Each candidate understood the issues at hand and how they would be defending their stance. This is important, as they needed to be able to highlight why their way of doing it is best.
Sales people should have a complete understanding of who their competitors are, what they are offering, as this information is crucial to make your products, services and marketing stand out.