March 20, 2008
Barack O-d@mA-merica: How To Make The Sale Thru Surrogates
Barack Obama with
America Hater Jeremiah Wright “I’m here to help you get elected. Do you want me to campaign for you? Or against you?” Quipped Jerry Falwell to a conservative candidate.
Your Business Blogger(R) once served on the Board of The Family Foundation in Virginia and had the honor of meeting Falwell and learning how he was so effective in politics.
The burden of the candidate is to know how to gather support, package it and send it forth, was Falwell’s philosophy. Falwell has a lesson for Obama.
Jeremiah Wright had said, “God D@m America” from the pulpit. Wright is a part of Obama’s life, formerly with the campaign.
Gary Baurer, left, Jerry Falwell, and John McCain far right
Liberty University function, Lynchburg, Virginia, 2006
photo credit: Charmaine Barack Obama must distance his candidacy from his pastor. Obama’s problem is to know who should do the talking.
And it’s not him.
Every sales professional, account manager and marketer knows the value of using surrogates, or testimonials as they are known in business. The classic Xerox sales training program, Personal Selling Skills or PSS, taught that a sales rep only uses proof when faced with customer skepticism of the value proposition.
To use a third party if the sales rep was not believed.
If the customer didn’t believe the sales representative, then, and only then would the sales pro present backup evidence — a believable third party endorsement who does the talking. The sales rep knows that this is when his voice is silent and the customer should hear the testimonial from another customer or respected authority.
The salesman, like the politician must shut up. Difficult for both to do.
Barack Obama is sounding like a salesman who keeps talking and talking when the sale is not being made. It sounds like pleading, like whining — even if the words are elegant: it doesn’t sell.
Your Business Blogger(R) carried as bag as a sales guy for decades and made the same mistakes as Obama is doing, but without the eloquence. But the problem has a simple sales solution.
Barack with the cussing “Reverend” Wright or to a much lessor extent, McCain with Pastor Hagee, should not keep talking. The candidate as sales guy is not going to fix the unfavorable endorsement in this instance.
Only the witness, the source of the testimonial, the endorser can help the candidate/sales rep. Obama has said enough.
Jeremiah Wright could help Obama by telling all, telling early, telling often — only Wright can now convince voters that Obama does not hold Wright’s Hate America First position. Only Wright can, well, preach that Obama does not believe that white people are evil. Only Wright can now say that Obama has different values.
Only Wright can make right.
Wright should do the talking — but with out the hate, with out the cussing.
But McCain shouldn’t worry: Wright won’t be able to do it. And Obama will continue to think he can talk his way out of this.
Obama is wrong. And he will lose.
Thank you (foot)notes:
Full Disclosure: Charmaine served as senior advisor to Mike Huckabee for president campaign.
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Update: See The New York Times on Clinton’s reaction.