Do you think Obama is doing a great job? Maybe you think he’s the worst president ever–next to Jimmy Carter of course. There are those who are vehemently saying both. How can this be? That’s democracy in action. You get to freely express what you think. Where do I stand? I’m in the latter camp from a sales point of view. Here’s why.
He sells what people don’t want to buy. It’s a salesperson’s job to help a customer make a great buying decision. That means that you sell what your customer needs or wants. What do you do if your customer doesn’t recognize that he needs or wants what you have to sell? You have to use your questioning strategy to help guide your customer to understand there’s a compelling need and a reason to buy from you now.
Did Obama do that? He sure tried. He made speech after speech touting the merits of his health care plan. Yet the American public was overwhelmingly against it. That didn’t stop him. It should have. He broke one of my primary rules for ethical selling. You sell what your customer wants to buy. Americans didn’t want his plan and he didn’t care.
He pulled a fast one. What’s the stereotype of the fast talking salesman? It’s certainly not good. It’s that the salesperson is lying. You may remember Joe Isuzu from the Isuzu ads in the late 80s. He claimed his trucks were so roomy they could fit more people than the Astrodome. Of course he was lying.
Unfortunately, there are too many salespeople who think it’s ok to fudge the truth or even lie to make the sale. They use false information to make claims to their customers or they make false claims without any information. What they’re doing is lying to their customers.
That’s what Obama did. He claims that the health care plan won’t raise the deficit. Yet he provides data based on more years of collecting taxes and fewer years of providing benefits. He says that he’ll pay for the plan with more than $600 billion worth of spending cuts to Medicare and other programs that are unlikely to ever happen. That’s fudging the truth at best. It’s a major breach of trust with your customers when you lie to them.
He says one thing and does another. Salespeople are in the trust business. Your word is your bond. Every promise you make is one you have to keep. That includes what you say to your customers. Obama made a lot of promises. He broke many of them. Here’s one.
He said he wanted to avoid the partisanship that had made Washington such a divisive place. Do you think he then made it a point to include Republicans when he was formulating his health care plan? Nope. He made certain they were excluded until it was almost impossible for them to include their points of view on health care savings accounts and wellness taken into consideration.