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Competing to win

DA could have improved results by selling more effectively


I am not a politician, just a small business owner that learned to sell many years ago. At 25 I was a sales manager for a small start up that was kicking the arse of some bigger competitors.

The DA are congratulating themselves about not losing when they in fact in my opinion did worse than the VF Plus who doubled their votes.

The DA as a party shrunk, Celebrating this is celebrating mediocrity

The article below the line discusses the two most important rules of sales and how the DA got it wrong.

I am not being political or choosing sides, I did that on Wednesday and I am not discussing my choices. This article is to discuss how using simple sales rules everything could have been different.

One party more than doubled it's previous results spending less money than the DA who had a massive budget. Another small party with no budget managed to get 15000 votes with less than 6 weeks of campaigning. The majority of the country had no idea who they are, Using just social media they didn't gain enough votes for a single seat, but they really raised blood pressures in the big 3 parties.
The small startup I worked for, DT Systems got bought by one of those corporate monoliths soon after I joined another small outfit that poached me hoping I could solve their problems with sales, They failed two months later, Like the internet is not a quick fix, neither is bringing in a great sales person when the excrement is already in the fan.

Over the last 30 years I have fed and clothed my family by being a salesman first. A good salesman knows that you grow a business with sales not cutting costs, but the real rules of sales are as follows.

Rule 1 of Sales, Do not focus on your competitors

You do not focus on your competitors, focus on your products and services and what makes them great. Sell your greatness, not your competitors faults. I learned this lesson and in the last 9 years or so I ran a reasonably successful micro business building stuff from wood like furniture and kitchens.

I sold enough to keep me busy, I had no intentions of growing my business, I have had to deal with unions and bad staff I couldn't get rid of in the past. I was always busy and have no idea who my competitors were.

Only once in that time was I offered a look at my competitions quote for a project and I declined. My response was, that would limit my ability to offer them the best deal, the best service and that if my service, reputation and products were not as good as theirs, they should get the job.

I won the project by selling my design, my knowledge, my skills and my reputation, not trying to defend mine against theirs.

The first rule of sales is sell yourself, not your competitor. If you need to try and break down your competitor your offering is deficient, improve it.

If someone says something like company X offers this, do you, the answer is always. I think I have heard of Company X, I have not looked at their product, it's probably great, Is that feature important to you? It is never, Company X has a bad reputation for over promising and under delivering. That is defensive and when you are on the defensive, you may as well quit.

Rule 2 of Sales, Make your message congruent

If you have multiple sales people make sure that they are all selling the same thing. There is nothing worse for a sales team than not knowing their products or services.

If you don't know anything about your products and your colleagues are having to try and sell something that doesn't do what you said it does, or does do what you said it does, the customers will be confused and buy the competitions product instead.

The DA in this election broke both of these rules. They did not sell their benefits, they sold the deficiencies of the ANC, hell even their posters said Stop the ANC or EFF. What this told the buying public is that the DA had nothing to offer other than being an alternative to these parties, where is the benefit in that.

It's not as if they don't already have a PR problem with being seen as a white party, they had nothing to add to the mix.

When there was a message it was being diluted because 3 different people were saying 3 different things and one was accusing the others of not having any real policy certainty.

In the aftermath I see the DA is claiming that they lost the far right wingers to the VF Plus, The VF plus however focused on selling the VF Plus. I know more about their goals of self beskikking, which I disagree with, which is why they didn't get my vote. Many white folk were not voting for self beskikking but in protest against not knowing whether the DA was for or against them.

When the leader is accusing his on wife of white privilege, that is going to be a sticking point in many peoples craw. The other party that helped the VF Plus immensely was the ANC. Panya Lesufi's attempts to silece Steve Hofmeyer had freedom of speech proponents defending Hofmeyer even if we disagreed with him in principal,

The protest vote was a foregone conclusion when the DA failed to stand up for the teacher in Schweizer Reynecke and for Free Speech.

I read the mood of the Volk of which I am a part by descendance and it was not pretty. It's not going to improve.

As for 57% of people voting the same as they did for change, This is a further weakness in the DA strategy. With all the opportunities to offer something better, they failed.

This Capitalist will not be creating jobs in this toxic environment, like the last 8 years I will be focusing on me and my own to the detriment of the SA economy. You broke it, you fix it.

If you liked this please share it, it really makes my day and I really appreciate it.

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