Word on the street is that it is tough for Hillary Clinton to sell herself to executive woman. In a December 8 article about Hillary’s campaign progress, The Wall Street Journal explored the reasons for her difficulty in building broad support among female executives.
Hillary could learn a few things about winning from executive women. There’s nothing more political than business, and successful executive women get the votes there. She had better notice what’s working for executive women because that’s the only way she’ll get their votes.
Why isn’t she selling? She thinks she can complain her way into getting their support. Forget it. “It’s not fair” was never publicly spoken by any successful working woman I know. I’ve never heard one successful woman complain her way into success.
Executive women have made it in a man’s world, and complaining wasn’t how they got there. They worked hard and got the job done. Why did she even think that having Bill complain on her behalf would work?
Executive women can stand up for themselves. They do not need other people fighting their battles for them. They can effectively communicate and that is how they earn their credibility.
Then there was the approach she took to reach the executive women. She had Billie Jean King act as a cheering squad at one of her women’s rallies. Do you think executive women are spending their precious time at political rallies looking to participate in a cheering section? No way. They’re looking for clear answers so they can make voting decisions. Maybe Hillary thought the cheering would be warm and fuzzy and attract women voters. Executive women are a whole lot smarter than to fall for that.
Then there’s her other problem. She appeared to be unable to make a decision. She was asked about giving illegal immigrants a drivers license. First she tried to avoid answering. Then she said she agreed. Then she said she didn’t agree.
Women executives are smart enough to know that you gain respect from thoughtfully making decisions and sticking to them. That’s not to say that they never change their mind. They change their minds only after enough time has passed and that it is obvious that the decision was wrong. Then they quickly fix it. Hillary’s flip flop showed that she could not make a decision. Executive women were not pleased.
If Hillary wants to sell to executive women, she needs to stop complaining, stand up for herself, and make decisions. She’ll sell herself to more executive women that way. Come to think of it, she’ll sell to more men, too.