As a psephology hobbyist in my early voting age, this concept intrigued me.
During the 80s, it was coined by the incumbent Conservatives of Iron Lady Maggie. From the 1987 campaign I recall, by the (unelected) Trade minister, David Young. His stock so high, Mrs T once remarked, “all my ministers bring me problems, David brings me solutions”. (House Of Cards author Michael Dobbs recounted its origins drawing on earlier wobbles too).
The Thatcherite project entrenched throughout that decade in part due to Opposition disarray, clinging to clearly outdated socialism over optimistic aspiration.
Despite this climate, one week before election day (always on a Thursday in the UK) opinion polls would suggest defeat may be possible.
Hence the term Wobble Thursday.
In scientific terms, such a wobble is ‘eccentricity’. An apt description for a rogue poll that sends parties into a spin.
The most famous one I know in this context is the Earth’s orbital ‘wobble’, as part of a Malinkovitch Cycle.
Only last year with the Scottish Referendum we witnessed just such wobble.
One solitary (never replicated) poll from the final weekend (by a pollster I remain flabbergasted makes a living) put the breakaway Yes movement ahead.
It frightened the life out of the ‘better together’ No side.
To such an extent that three main Westminster leaders came together with their extraordinary ‘vow’. They pledged pretty much everything but independence, provided Scotland didn’t vote for it now.
Masterstroke or unnecessary error?
I sense the latter.
Time and again in solution sales I’ve encountered my own ‘wobble Thursday’. It may not be precisely on a Thursday, yet it is always right at the end of a campaign.
You’ve thought for a little while the deal is coming your way.
Then doubt strikes.
One event suddenly triggers your feeling that the signature may well be going elsewhere.
What do you do then?
The lesson from the politicians is clear. Do not panic.
As hard as it may be, the message must be to stick to you plan.
What’s the alternative?
Try to rush things?
Then your potential client may back-off.
Throw around incentives, like price drops or freebies?
Then your prospect might smell a rat.
Make incredible promises?
When things sound to good to be true, your possible customer may well start to wonder…
No. Rather keep to your process. To persevere is to win.