Thursday, 30 April 2015

Selling your Sales Manifesto, any lessons from #Election2015 ?

The life of the Road Warrior is not quite dead !
“ A carter or a hedger is a more edifying companion than a politician”
William Cobbett 30th April 1821

Cobbett's portrait in the
National Portrait Gallery
In his lifetime William Cobbett stood for the UK parliament five times, of which four attempts were unsuccessful:

1806 Honiton
1820 Coventry
1826 Preston
1832 Manchester

In 1832 he was successful and elected as Member of Parliament for Oldham.

Salespeople have much to learn from his persistence and perseverance.  

Cobbett believed that reforming Parliament and abolishing the rotten boroughs would help to end the poverty of farm labourers. He campaigned vigorously against the borough-mongers, sinecurists and "tax-eaters" .

Rural Rides

He embarked on a series of journeys by horseback through the countryside of South east England and the  Midlands. He wrote down what he saw from the points of view both of a farmer and a social reformer.

 'Rural Rides'  documents the early nineteenth century countryside and its people as well as giving free vent to Cobbett's opinions. It became the book he is most famous for - Rural Rides

Cobbett disapproved of proposals for remedies for agricultural distress suggested in Parliament in 1821. He made up his mind to see rural conditions for himself, and to "enforce by actual observation of rural conditions", the statements he had made in answer to the arguments of the landlords before the Parliamentary Agricultural Committee.

'Back in the day' an example of former rather genteel form electioneering on wheels
 - exhibitor at Car Rally, Farnham Spring  2015 in aid of Phyliis Tuckwell Charity

Rural rides 2015 
'Battle Ambulance' used in 2015 campaign by Dr Louise Irvine
 for the National Health Action Party standing for South West Surrey constituency

On the National Level

So with just a couple of weeks to go there is everything to play for in the General 2015 UK General Election. The media circus accompanies the party battle buses as they ride round the country. LBC radio’s Nick Ferrari (who has a passing resemblance to William Cobbett) has a battle bus emblazoned with his photograph as if HE was a Presidential candidate.  The BBC’s  John Humphrey on the Today Radio show doing the rounds of the marginal seats of the country.

In some ways personal elections, standing for election to be voted for onto committees etc.
standing for election  is the ultimate sale. 

In essence the seller is not hiding behind the product , they are the product.

This sale is a sale of TRUST

Since the crash , Big Business has been working hard to rebuild trust and establish or repair credibility lost.

Business Leaders and salespeople  ( if there is really a distinction) would do well to study the strategy and tactics which have been undertaken in this month long sales campaign of Election 2015.

Customers express their ‘purchase’ by whom they vote for, against whom through tactical voting or by ‘walking away’ and not voting at all.

Much of electioneering is the art of persuasive communication against resistance.
The methods being used parallel the mix of conventional and the new of corporate marketing communications.

Conventional Selling  at the constituency level is much like Regional selling  and is conducted by personal visit, --cold calling if you like.

Courageous candidates who 'stood up to be counted '
 and sell their manifestos at the hustings
(left to right) Dr Louise Irvine NHA,
Mark Webber UKIP ,Susan Ryland Green Party
and  Howard Kaye  Labour Party.
for the South West Surrey constituency 29th April 2015
Candidates  Paul Robinson-  from Something  New
  ( was ill and could not attend) and Conservative Jeremy Hunt
 sent  apologies for absence due to an engagement in London

There are beauty parade type presentations such as the hustings , the delivery of leaflet the equivalent of sales literature. 

Some parties are to be seen ‘sampling’ in the high street with campaign literature

Poster on a house wall

Along the high ways and byways are the posters with the invitation to vote for a candidate.

The actions on the national level are rather more formally managed. Staged rallies, Podium Style debates looking much like the "weakest link "show.  

The one to one interview /interrogation is both make or break for the journalist interviewer as much as the candidate.

Don't be surprised to find the formats that worked this election being mimicked at your next sales conference. 

Selling Challenge: What would your sales manifesto look like. If you had to stand for an election in front of your customers ?    The Key parts to your sales manifesto

Birthplace of William Cobbett formerly The Jolly Farmer pub referred to as "The Cobbett"
by Farnham locals where you can get Cobbett's magic of threes "bacon, bread and beer"
Tablet inside St Andrew's Church , Farnham.
Cobbett is buried in the Church graveyard
Let's leave the last word to Cobbett for this post

"The tendency of taxation is to create a class of persons who do not labour, to take from those who do labour the produce of that labour, and to give it to those who do not labour."

William Cobbett

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