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The first rule of sales is never talk politics - however I am going to break that rule and skim around the edges today. The reason why I am going to break that rule is from what I can see, politicians need to better salespeople.

If you are anything like me, you will have been sick of the election long before it even arrived. My  biggest frustration is not only the fact that business slows down due to uncertainty, but also the news being dominated by election insights and childish behaviour of people that should know better. Successful people in sales know that certain behaviours will not be tolerated, and politicians could learn from this. 

A HubSpot Survey highlighted Salespeople have a trust issue where only 3% of people think we are trustworthy, but we do look awesome compared to politicians who only rank at 1% on the trustworthy scale. 

We are all hearing promises in the media daily from politicians which we all know they cannot keep. If you do this in sales, a customer will never purchase from you. Not now or in the future.

 Here are the biggest rules of sales that politicians should learn:

  • Never criticise your competitors – it makes you look petty and unprofessional. I know that is going to be difficult for a politician, but perhaps at least do it with some class, avoid the personal and focus on facts.
  • Your personal brand is number 1, if you promise something and don’t follow through, then I am unlikely to purchase from you again. Set expectations. Don’t promise the world if you can’t deliver the world. Instead - under promise and over deliver.
  • Listening is my number one skill in sales. Are politicians really listening?
  • Communicate clearly and provide clear examples of how the work that you have undertaken has truly had an impact. Tell stories (real) and share anecdotes that highlight these impacts.
  • Trust is a cornerstone of both politics and sales. Salespeople know that customers are more likely to buy from someone they trust. Politicians can benefit from this principle by establishing trust which is lacking in most cases. This requires honesty, transparency, and consistency in their messaging. Trust is easily lost but hard to regain, so it is essential for politicians and salespeople to prioritise it. It is particularly relevant when times are tough.
  • Sales is a moving feast, and salespeople must adapt to changing market conditions and customer preferences. Similarly, politics is subject to rapid changes in the mood of the public, and the state of the domestic and global economy. Both salespeople and politicians can learn from each other by being adaptable and resilient in the face of challenges. 
At Indicator we will offer an open invitation to any current MP to join us as our guest on a sales training day!! Maybe one at a time though eh?


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