Politics has always been a slippery slope when it comes to sales, and the last few years the road has become very icy and a lot of oncoming traffic. When it comes to politics and sales, the number one thing is to respect the other person, regardless of what they may or may not say.
I have customers who represent every imaginable political position. I’ve learned this through various conversations with them and I’m fine with it. My objective is to first respect everyone and second to keep focused on the big picture.
Here are my guidelines I use when talking with others:
Respect everyone. Just as I have an opinion, so too does everyone else.
Be the optimist in everything. The world has enough negative people. There is no need to add fuel to the fire. We become like who we associate with the most. There’s a reason why negative people have negative friends, and it’s the same reason why optimists have optimistic friends. I always seek to find the positive…the good in everything and everybody.
Don’t over analyze. Don’t read more into what people are saying than necessary. It’s amazing how easy it can be to take one comment a person makes and suddenly turn it into a conspiracy theory.
Relax. Be slow to form an opinion. The sun will still come up in the morning. No need to panic with what someone says or doesn’t say. It’s not going to change the course of mankind. Don’t rush in forming an opinion, as the only thing it will do is rush you to make a bad decision.
Don’t fall for the baited comments or questions. This one is dangerous and it is happening not only in conversations, but also in social media. Be cautious in how you respond, because it’s amazing how quickly things can become misinterpreted. With this one there is no perfect answer. It truly is an icy road ahead!
Don’t burn the bridge or Rome. Just because you don’t agree with somebody on an issue, this isn’t a reason to cut them off. No two people are alike in everything. If I cut off everyone who doesn’t line up 100% with what I think, then I will be living on a deserted island.
Calm rules the day. It’s amazing how fired up people become with the language they use. I see and hear this a lot. There’s no place at all for foul or crass language on social media or in a conversation. Only thing it does is mess with your brain and get you viewing everything negatively.
Engage in conversations, not lectures. Last thing I want is a lecture, either to hear one or to give one. Let’s not kid ourselves — a lecture is a waste, unless you want to burn a bridge.
Last week I was in three states — one heavy red, one heavy blue and the other split. As a result, I was with people from every perspective. For me it wasn’t an issue. Every topic imaginable came up and yet in the end I came back to a belief I’ve had for years — “With each conversation I have, I want to earn the right, privilege, honor and respect to be able to meet with that person again.” Make that your focus and you’ll be playing the long game, becoming a person of influence and impact.
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Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results