Obama: Great salesman must collapse time


Is President Obama a great salesman or what? I’d argue “no.” But before I make the case, permit me to point out that this is in no way meant to be a political piece–rather a convenient way to support a few selling principles.

Okay–so we can agree that our president was the beneficiary of eight tough political years experienced by his predecessor, a disenchanted electorate and a remarkable personal ability to inspire people to believe that upon his election, “change” would be not only possible but imminent, and “hope” would be warranted and timely redeemed for better days. It was a spectacular sale! He got elected because virtually every liberal, every voting ethnic, the preponderance of independents and some conservatives, threw Obama’s lack of track record and experience to the wind–He said he would change things for the better–and do it now! And America endowed him with its trust.

His “pitch” was about “us,” not him or his desire to be president. He wanted to “help” us and our children. He wanted to enfranchise the disenfranchised, and engage antagonists in a spirit of diplomacy. I don’t argue that he was, and probably still is, sincere in his attempts to accomplish all of that, and that he is truly other directed…so why has he “lost” so many of us? Perhaps there are less, rather than more folk who now give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he’s no different than the rest. Would all of his buyers renew if the schedule ended this month?

My view is that among his deficiencies in the core values that separate the everyday from the great sellers, is his ability to collapse time. Now, he’s been adversely judged by others by taking on too much and promising, but not delivering ,the goods in time frames of his own declarations. That certainly has been the case with health reform. But today, a major, liberal New York newspaper, in a page 3. editorial excoriated the president for giving his security people five days to analyze and report back of the “systemic” security failure after the attempted plane bombing in New York last week.

With nothing but business at stake, much less a military threat to U.S. citizens, our group members in a crisis wouldn’t even have to be told by our top partner, “Answers in 24 hours, please.” If a salesman is to be great, he must collapse time. The more he does in the shortest amount of time, the more he gets to do. The more he gets to do, the more value he is to others. The more value he is to others the more others rely upon his ability to help them. The more the rely upon him, the more they buy.

Great sellers communicate honestly and fearlessly. They don’t say they will. They do. “His handshake is his bond.” So old. Such a valuable perception. No Spin. No, “What I really meant was…” Just the truth as you see it. Always. We don’t forgive politicians who B.S. us. But it is our expectation that they will. That’s why, “they’re all the same.” Obama got elected, because he wasn’t going to be the same. He was going to be uncommon, extraordinary. But today, more than 50% of the population isn’t so sure that’s true. Today, he looks more like a very, very sharp guy who made one or two great sales. Kind of like the guy in the McMansion down the block. Not like the guy you’d bet will exceed his budget next year and the year after that.

Great Selling!

(source: Bob Sherman 40 years experience managing relationships between media companies and advertisers in old and new media from radio, cable and TV to the Internet, and from sales executive to chief executive and from the biggest media corporations to my own entrepreneurial companies. Available for Corporate and Individual Consultation, Training and Speaking
[email protected] 212-486-4446.)