Want to observe sales in its purest form? Want to learn from triumphs and mistakes? Scrutinize the handling of candidates in our presidential elections. For a moment, put aside your political ideologies and think of candidates as the ‘product’ that is being sold to the American people.
This is lesson one on success in sales as I have learned from those running for office.
#1 Smiles Sell. Have a BIG smile. People purchase people, or should I say people decide to purchase based on their relationship with you. 65% of the population is more people oriented. This means that 65% of all those you meet need to like you before they will purchase from you. A big smile relays that you are an open, sincere, friendly person who will be easy to work with. Therefore, if you have a large, genuine, toothy grin you are more likely to close sales.
Not convinced? Consider the presidential races since the first one televised in 1960. In 1960 those listening by radio (receiving information audibly only) declared Nixon the winner of the debate. Those watching by television thought Kennedy won. What made the difference? In addition to verbal content, television allowed the candidates to be seen. From Kennedy through Obama – regardless of the amount of money spent, the political opinions expressed or promises made - the candidate with the largest, toothiest, most memorable smile tends to win.
John Kennedy Richard Nixon Televised Debate 1960
No one could resist the Kennedy charm and John Kennedy squeezes by Richard Nixon who was the favorite and incumbent VP. Obviously everyone, including Nixon, has a smile. However Nixon’s smile wasn’t as large and inviting as Kennedy’s and the image Nixon painted in most viewers minds was of him with a more serious expression.
Lyndon Johnson Barry Goldwater Barry Goldwater
A tough year for smiling. Neither candidate had a great smile. Goldwater’s serious expression on the cover of TIME may have tipped the balance in favor of Johnson. This type of grimace appears again and again on covers and campaign buttons those who lose elections. Although no one smiles all the time, the real concern needs to be the overall image (smiling or serious) the candidate imprints into peoples minds.
Richard Nixon Hubert Humphrey
Someone teaches Nixon how to smile and he triumphs over Humphrey. Nixon’s smile was so exaggerated this expression has been turned into a popular character mask today. Humphrey’s campaign button is awful. Campaign buttons, TV and publicity pictures all play an important role in painting an image in the minds of people. Serious doesn’t sell.
Richard Nixon George McGovern
Jimmy Carter Gerald Ford
A real smile-a-thon. Both candidates had contagious smiles. Ronald Reagan’s charisma and Kennedy likeability to charm the press won the day. It didn’t hurt that American’s had fallen in love with his smile decades earlier…
Ronald Reagan Walter Mondale
George H Bush Michael Dukakas
Another very poorly planned cover. Can you even call that a smile on the face of Michael Dukakas? Look’s more like constipation to me. This is the image his campaign manager planted into the minds of America. What were his political advisers thinking? George senior doesn’t have a great smile but any smile could beat the expression on Dukakas’s face.
Bill Clinton George H Bush
Bill Clinton Bob Dole
George W Bush Al Gore
On the few occasions he is caught cracking a smile, Al Gore refuses to show his teeth . George junior, like his father before him, doesn’t have a great smile but it was more than sufficient to beat Gore’s.
George W Bush John Kerry
Another really awful campaign button. This one was for John Kerry. The picture created a mental image of him being overly serious. His smile looks forced and insincere.
Barak Obama John McCain
Who will win the republican nomination? Observe their smiles and you decide.
The application for sales is clear.
SMILES SELL. Make sure yours is a WINNER!
Pici & Pici Inc is a consultative relationship sales firm specializing in customized training for individuals and corporations. Call 407-947-2590 for more information or go to www.PiciandPici.com
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