I am somewhat of a political junkie. I love reading about, discussing, and contemplating politics. I love the fight. I love the battle.

These past couple of months I got involved on a small political campaign to help elect a local judge.

It’s been quite interesting from many angles.

One of the most interesting things is seeing how much social pressure has influenced my candidate.

Politics is brutal on people.

People say things about you that aren’t true. Sometimes they say these things because they are ignorant. Other times they are just flat out lying to trying to damage you.

Either way it is emotionally tough.

And if you are thin-skinned, it’s even harder.

My candidate has gotten a lot of feedback from friends and supporters in our community.

He has also gotten a fair amount of criticism in the letters to the editor of our local newspaper.

Some of this criticism he has ignored.

Other criticism has affected his campaign/sales strategy.

He has pulled back on some messages because his enemies and some supporters didn’t like them.

Now I advised against this, but his desire to be more civil, to get along, to socially conform won out.

And this pull-back has hurt him ultimately in my opinion. It has hurt him because he has not defined himself, nor his opponent, as much or as well as he could have.

By not defining himself, or his opponent, he leaves it up to the voter to do all the work.

And people are lazy. A lot of voters don’t know or care about who they elect as judges.

So many don’t bother voting for that office at all cause they don’t understand the difference in the choices. Either that or they vote for the candidate who’s name they’ve seen the most times. Neither choice yields the best decision.

I am telling you this because it’s the same when you are selling a product.

Most products these days have a lot of the same features and capabilities as other products in their category.

First then you’ve got to understand what your prospects want.

Next you’ve got to understand what your product is best and least capable accomplishing for customers.

And then you’ve got to understand what your competitor’s product is best and least capable accomplishing for customers.

Finally you’ve got to define how you are best capable of giving customers more of what they want and why your competition is an inferior choice.

When you play it safe and easy by selling at the superficial feature level, you leave it up to your prospect to do all of the mental hard work.

And selling that way is a roll of the dice.

I expect the results here in our local judge race tonight to be close.

They will probably be close, when we should’ve been preparing for a lopsided win.

Obviously I am hoping for a win. But we just might lose.

And frankly I hate "hoping".

When I personally am in control, I do everything possible to ensure a win, or I don’t play at all.

But as a volunteer advisor, that was ultimately not my call.

So we’ll see later tonight what happened.

I’ll let you know later this week how the race turned out for us.

When it comes to your sales though, do everything you can to ensure you win.

You are in control – exercise it.

Don’t leave anything to chance.