Sunday, 29 May 2016

Brexit or Remain, Selling will have to deal with it.

Nothing really happens in business before a sale is made. This of course  an exaggeration but however the Referendum vote goes, salespeople will have an active role with the consequences.

Brexit the implications for selling

Britain’s salespeople, much like the country at large, are being assailed as to how we should decide how we should vote in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU on 23 rd June.

A survey of 278 British senior marketers, conducted by email provider Mailjet in March, found that 

31% believe leaving the EU  – would be good for their business.

42% say Brexit would not be advantageous for their company,

and 27% are unsure.

How the campaigns match up

The battle between the two sides in the EU referendum is as much a conflict of selling skills as it is a clash of ideas. 

The two officially designated campaigns in the debate – Britain Stronger in Europe on one side, and Vote Leave on the other – are competing for airtime and the attention of the public through a range of marketing tactics, not all of which have proved successful so far.

In their Public relations efforts to date,  both sides have courted controversy in their attempts to dominate the headlines.

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt ( FUD) have featured in both campaigns .

Back in March, Vote Leave published a list of murders and rapes committed by 50 EU criminals in Britain –  criticised by the ‘remain’ side as “scaremongering”. Similarly, the pro-EU camp has generated publicity by promoting economic warnings about the dangers of leaving, but faces claims from the Brexit side that it is running an overly negative campaign labelled ‘Project Fear’.

The remain side, on the other hand, has the backing of the Government, which spent £9m on sending pro-EU leaflets to every UK household last month.

 This use of direct mail reflects the remain campaign’s desire to reach older voters, who polls suggest are more likely to be against the EU and more likely to vote.

Both campaigns came in for criticism at Advertising Week Europe last month. Lindsay Pattison, CEO of media agency Maxus, argued that neither side had made a significant impact on social media. 

“Britain Stronger in Europe has got something like 25,000 followers [on Twitter] and Vote Leave about 35,000,” she noted. “Both of those numbers are pretty pathetic.”

The outcome of the vote could have far-reaching consequences for how salespeople perform their jobs and engage with their  customers and prospects. The uncertainty created by the referendum is already having an effect on businesses.

Consumer confidence is 18 points lower than it was a year ago, according to the latest index by GfK, while a Deloitte survey reveals chief financial officers at FTSE 350 companies are delaying the recruitment of new staff and other internal investments until the vote is decided.

Whichever way the referendum vote goes it will be up to we salespeople to make the best of the situation for ourselves, our families, our businesses our customers and our country.

Related links

Lessons for Sales literature from election manifestos

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