4 sales training tips from the 2016 presidential campaign
You could think of the presidential campaign as one long, protracted sales call on the American people. And indeed, sales managers and trainers can learn a lot from how campaigns shape voter behavior. Four tips:
1. Apply peer pressure. In a field experiment, letters reminding recipients of their own voting histories, informing them of their neighbors' histories, and indicating that neighbors would know whether they had voted increased turnout more than any other tactic.
2. Use "noun phrasing" that emphasizes identity (e.g., "being a closer") instead of "verb phrasing" that emphasizes action (e.g., "closing"). Clinton's Iowa campaign repeatedly used phrases like "being a voter," as opposed to merely "voting."
3. Create a bandwagon effect. Clinton campaign call scripts told Iowans that "a lot of people" would be caucusing this year. Citizens are more motivated to vote when they hear of high expected turnout. (Ironic, given that each vote actually matters less when turnout is high.)
4. Have trainees make an action plan. The Clinton campaign's call script asked Iowans if the location of their polling site was "close enough to walk" or if they would "have to drive," and included information about when caucus locations opened and closed, effectively prompting them to devise a voting plan.
In this video by a Toronto ad agency, a guy approaches actual service providers and asks them to provide their product or service for free to see if he likes it before committing to more. (2:32 min)
Lively Writing, on Time and on Target
When your message needs to engage and persuade, be sure to approach it from the Write Angle. Udi Shorr writes marketing and sales-training presentations for live audiences, video, print, and the Web. You benefit from years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 clients.