No Excuse Know Your Pledges

Yesterday I drew sales inspo from the latest pitch to British voters. From the government-in-waiting.

To give further flavour of the reaction from sofas across the land, even in unreleased draft, there's always the reliably piercing cartoonist, Matt;

What this (re)poster alludes to is of true Sales insight.

Having a clear idea of your take on the 'n things' the prospect needs to know, understand and accept. To the point it motivates them to shift heaven and earth on their behalf. It's a good move. Often vital in setting us apart.

You have a list of bullets. Big ones. Needing to be explicitly voiced. They must land.

Yet with these widely trailed half-dozen political promises, one of the key people behind them - so much so he's the face of the second - failed to be able to rattle them off.

Not just during any old discourse either. But the amplified glare of a major tv show.

The aspiring Cabinet Minister would no doubt have been involved in the crafting of his team's six 'first steps for change'. Proud you'd think that his was the brief to grab top billing behind only 'its the economy, stupid'. He even sat through the razzle snoozle of the launch event where, it merits noting, the full six were emblazoned throughout around the stage. And mentioned countless times. Together and separately.

And yet he - as seen in the clip at the foot - to use his sanitising term, "still fluffed it".

Despite, as he was pained to point out, having been preparing specifically for them.

Well. He didn't practise them enough. Or in the right way, evidently.

And you can glean how.

Of the sextet, here's the order in which he tried to recount them.

1, 2, 6, 3, 4 ...

Number 5 went missing.

Never mind. Who needs anti-social behaviour tackling anyway?

Hardly surprising he managed the top two.

Once he uttered his own responsibility though, things went awry.

Maybe panic set in.

We've all been there. Our first recital in the public bear pit. Nerves a-jangling.

Yet when brain-freeze strikes, he ran straight to the last.

Never a good sign.

And wobble became a shuddering crash.

A half-dozen like this isn't straightforward to recall in such place.

There's plenty of methods to help you nail them, though.

They include a self-applied acronym, make a 'story' of them in your mind or a 'link' of associative visualisation.

The acronym could entail simply remembering the initial letter of each bullet phrase; DCLSCR. In this case, I'd turn them into two threes; DCLSCR. Once you lick this pair of trios, you can rely on your mind to carry on from Deliver—Cut—Launch, Set up—Crack down—Recruit. If the initials aren't quite working for you, then there's a six-word sentence sprouting from them somewhere. Each word beginning with said letter.

The story method is a classic of the memory champs. You give someone an envelope with cash in, and in return they give you a pair of scissors, and turn round to see a ribbon with the champagne swinging from it dockside towards a new ship called HMS Energy, ... And so on.

The link method here might well be simply having the faces of each of the six wannabe Ministers responsible lined up in order of where their area comes on the list. You even imagine each person, in a group photo, holding an item emblematic of the subject. When rehearsing these, the advisors could've (should have) even got this all prepped and ready as a piece of both levity and killer imprinting. Keep the photo, guys.

Then after a while, it all becomes second nature. To the extent you can happily play around with their ranking at will.

Which method suits you with what your prospect needs to hear?

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