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How not voting is a lot like a buyer not making a decision - and how one politician reminded me how to stand out in sales

· Transparency,Elections

Tomorrow is election day here in the US - a day that politicians must feel similar to how salespeople feel on the last day of the fiscal year. It’s my hope that you’ll get out and vote, but, from a decision science perspective, I understand why some of you won’t.

SBI says 60% of sales qualified opportunities end in a ‘no decision’. That’s actually worse than the percentage of Americans who made ‘no decision’ by NOT voting in the 2016 elections, which was 42%.

Why do sales opportunities so often end in a no decision? Typically it’s because the buyer-perceived level of effort / opportunity cost isn’t worth the potential result / value. Often, when neither choice feels like a great choice, and there’s an opportunity to put time, energy and resources into something else, making no choice is the easiest path. Could that also speak to why people don’t vote?

Two competitors, both presenting themselves as though they’re perfect, both positioning their competitor as garbage. The lack of honesty and transparency drives the buyer to do their own homework and reach their own conclusions. Feels a lot like political messaging, eh? Sounds a lot like some competitive sales pursuits I’ve seen, too!

In every interaction, you're either building trust or eroding it.

How can you stand out?

In Saturday’s mail, I received a handwritten letter from our State Representative, Tom Morrison. In it, he congratulated me on my book, and told me a story of how he embraced transparency in a former cleaning business his family once owned. I don’t know Tom personally. I’m guessing he saw an article about me and my new book in the local newspaper last week. He represents the 54th district here in Cook County, Illinois - populated by probably around 100,000. He took the time to write me a letter, and in it, there's no mention of the election - and he doesn't ask for my vote.

Make yourself worthy of being a good choice for your buyer. Embrace transparency. Embrace your flaws. Position yourself as between a 4.2-4.5 instead of a perfect 5.0.

Imagine if all politicians did that?

How can you stand out?

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