Wedge Issue

This struck me as an interesting piece of wonkery.

Definitions include;

an issue that is likely to cause division between the members of a group
a political or social issue, often of a controversial or divisive nature, which splits apart a demographic or population group
a very divisive political issue, which is able to make people to vote for a party they would not usually support, because its policies are closer to their own on this issue.

As well having its own inevitable wiki.

How about bringing this inside a Sales context.

Wedge issues are likely simple to spot.

You could go for the classic, 'price, quality, service'. Or maybe a difference in Day One versus Total Project costs. Even a split between off-the-shelf or tailored/bespoke.

Any complex bid 'buying unit' may well exhibit members at opposing poles on such matters.

Yet I sense the most power of a 'wedge', is twofold.

When it has the power to bring someone not naturally disposed to your way of thinking to embrace what you offer.

As well as when it is something deemed so significant, it outweighs any or all other factors which you may not represent and so deemed less major.

And for that magic to strike, you surely need to appeal more to individuals' personal agenda, rather than their professional responsibilities.

What does your closest ally consider the wedge issue swirling around their organisation?

Are you on the weightier side of it?

Indeed, you could go a deeper.

By default, it appears a wedge is a divisive issue. So if one exists in your prospect's world, isn't it better to shape it your way? Bring it out in the open? Create energy around it your way?

Might there even be more than one such wedge? Which you could track and leverage for each deal? Isolate as a slant for a different style of occasional forecast review?

We can also avoid the less attractive ramification political discourse suffers of polarisation.

I'm reminded of the false comfort exposed by the old saying;

'If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything'.

Buyers of this mindset can be utterly destructive to their colleagues' - and our  -ambitions.

Drive a wedge into them. Make them shake off any aloof ambivalence. Push them off any fence.

Indeed, this principle revolves upon Aristotle's 'law of the excluded middle'. Whereby an issue can only have a firm for or against position, never anywhere in-between.

Which for lovers of logic, I believe can be expressed by the propositional formula p_¬p. Handy perhaps for slide text imagery. Or represented in your brand palette of need as Venn diagram positions of 'A', 'Not A'; .

This might well be the key Sales angle. You don't seek to change someone's mind - so notoriously tricky - but rather form first time their opinion on a fresh matter.

There's also the cunning play of introducing a brand new wedge issue, so that influence of a separate issue in which we are less secure is lessened by comparison.

Force the debate. Go excluding. For us, they must stand.

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