Pre-poll fervour continues to grip media monkeys in Blighty.
With just six weeks to go, we’ve got hurriedly treated with a new canvassing device. The kitchen interview.
Leaders now rush to portray themselves beside their sinks. One mistakenly chose to inhabit their second kitchen. Lucky them. Although not so fortunate for the apparent user, the nanny who must put up with sparse conditions. Another had nothing but an expensive coffee maker, due to self-confessed reliance on takeaways. And then the PM himself. Alongside his ‘calm down dear’ chopping board.
Relaxed in his home, he proceeded to give Westminster-bubblers a prolonged seizure. He had the temerity to suggest he’d not stay in charge for ever. Even roll-calling an obvious trio of successors.
An ever-odious former spin doctor slithered across telly studios in this wake. A prime ministerial friend rebuked him for his renowned adverserial approach to news management. It was for a different age, he scolded. People are tired of spin. They appreciate candour. Like in this case. A straight answer to a direct question. Honesty. That rare response, truly valued by the electorate.
The one-time minister of spin remained ignorant. He then trotted out the experience of his own election victory lessons.
As an incumbent, you must, he claimed, do three things;
- Fight on your record
- Explain your plan for the future
- Attack your opponent
At last, and unusually, something of substance.
Account management will recognise these.
Whether through annual budget renewal, enforced re-tender or organisational shake-up, any incumbent will know the minefield that formal protection of your position treads.
The first two legs to the stool are indisputable.
You must promote your tangible results and compelling vision.
Make sure you have these fully covered.
They’re not as easy as you might think.
As for the third, well, you’ll need a different approach to the politicos.
Negative campaigning. For me it just doesn’t wash in Sales.
I advocate steadfast avoidance of referring directly to your competition. Never ever speak of them ill.
Your prospect has a need. You have a solution. Focus only on your proximity of match.
Of course, you can allude to their weaknesses. But only in terms of your preferential alternatives.
Any seller that blatantly slates competition cannot hope to scale the heights of sustainable sales.
But traps, they can be set. Lay them with care. And keep to the high ground.