Did Romney “win” the debate last week?

Or did Obama “lose” it?

There’s been a lot of discussion this past week in the news on this.

I read and watch a lot of politics. Much of it is noise, but I like watching the political season, because it is the highest stakes persuasion game there is.

And reading last night, I came across this interview by Greg Sargent of the Washington Post with the pollster Stan Greenberg, who says he knows why Romney won the debate.

And by won the debate, Greenberg really is talking about why the polls are moving in Romney’s favor. So he zeros in on the group that changed their opinion the most after the debate, and that group was unmarried women…

Romney succeeded in communicating with unmarried women, Greenberg says, by prefacing talk of his five point plan with an extended discussion of the economic strain of middle-income Americans.

Hugely useful insight here.

Romney prefaced talk of his plan with a discussion of the voter’s economic strain.

In other words, Romney created empathy by talking about the voter’s pain RIGHT BEFORE pitching his product.

And what did (or didn’t) Obama do?

Unmarried women didn’t respond to Obama’s vow to improve the economy. They heard nothing there that was relevant to them, Greenberg says. They were not hearing about issues or problems or things that Obama would do that affect their lives. The president had a lot of detail but didn’t have the set up in values.

Obama basically pitched the features (details of the plan) and generic benefits (Forward anyone?). He didn’t talk about the customer’s pain.

Romney won the debate because of what he did.

Romney outsold Obama to a group of voters Obama normally does better with.

This is the reason why Romney won the debate and Obama lost.

When you talk to your customer about the problems he is having, he begins to believe that you understand him.

When he feels understood, his sense of rapport with you builds, and he begins to trust and like you more, because he starts to think that you and he are alike.

This is the essence of sales excellence.

Apply this yourself and your sales will increase.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus Brown

P.S. Next couple of debates should be interesting. Tomorrow is the VP debate between Ryan and Biden – I hope it’s a Cock Fight!