President Obama may still be settling into the White House, but already there are a plethora of lessons sales professionals can learn from his candidacy and the first weeks of his presidency. Here are just a few that I’ve identified so far:
- Have a clear message that captures the attention of your prospects: In President Obama’s case, his message was simply “change.” It connected with millions of Americans and differentiated him from the competition, ultimately earning him the position of the nation’s 44th President.
- Embrace Web 2.0 but do so carefully: From blogs to podcasts, MySpace to Twitter, YouTube to widgets, Obama embraced social media from day one. But it wasn’t done randomly. His online strategy was carefully constructed to advance his message and build and reinforce his image and “brand.”
- Hit the streets: Throughout his campaign and even today, Obama takes his message directly to the people. He doesn’t rely on televised addresses or press conferences to get his point across; he hits the streets and makes the “sale” the old fashioned way.
- Command attention: Whether you agree or disagree with what he is saying, there is little doubt in my mind that when the President takes the mic, you pay attention. He connects with his audience on a personal level, tying his message to themes that resonate, and does so with clarity and sincerity.
- Treat others, including your competition, with respect: Even when the mud was flying fast and furious on the campaign trail, Obama rarely let himself get sucked into the fray. Instead, he countered their attacks by focusing on his strengths. By taking the high road, he earned the American public’s confidence and trust.
Finally, be yourself. President Obama was never anything but honest about who he is and where he came from. If “being yourself” can get a man elected President, it can certainly play a role in making a sale!
These are just a few lessons I’ve identified. I’m sure you have many more. Please share them with us!