Politicians Selling themselves Are Politicians good at Selling?
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So as the nation gets ready to choose who will be governing the country over the following years it seemed right to look at the process from a sales professionals point of view. Unfortunately, when wearing a sales professionals coaching hat, the sales pitches for the main three candidates don’t seem massively inspiring.
 
I have one major problem with the political system; I don’t really know what any of the policies are! This is the biggest pitch of them all isn’t it, why don’t we know anything?
 
Whenever asked a question on policies, the instant response seems to be to make vague generalisations, ‘people will be better off ’we need to change’, ‘everyone will smile more’! There’s no real granite there, what if a sales professionals walked into a pitch and declared that they will make all the people in the room richer, my inclination is that the buyer may want a touch more meat on the bones?
 
So we ask for further explanation, at which point the standard response is to criticise the opposition’s policies. Again, when in a pitch, our key selling point is not the ineptitude of our competitors, it’s about what we can do and how we are going to do it.
 
At this point it’s only fair to add that my criticism lies partially with the journalist questioning the politician, there seems to be as much point scoring from the questioner as the politician. This week I heard an interview with a Labour MP who was just answering questions about Ed Balls, nothing to do with his role in the cabinet.
 
So would a good sales professional win a general election? – What if we were completely honest about our main policies? We had a concise document with the issues most important to us, presented clearly? We weren’t defensive about offering further explanation? We never mentioned the competition, or even recognised them as worthy competitors, just not as good as us? What if we sold our party to the people properly?
 
I remain sceptical, are the British public and British journalists interested in the real policies, or do we just want to see an argument? By being open about a policy that will not sit well with certain areas of the public, will the good points be lost in translation through our media outlets, I fear they would. We get ‘lying politicians’ because we don’t like the truth.

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