Are You Electable?
I love the political season. I have been reading every political campaign book I can get my hands on. (Some good ones: Rendezvous with Destiny (about the 1980 election), Courage and Consequence by Karl Rove, The Whole Damn Deal (about Robert Strauss), What A Party! by Clinton fundraiser and later head of the DNC Terry McAuliffe). Mostly I want to know how the experts run a political campaign to become President of the United States and how I can use those techniques to improve my business.
Here are some take aways from what I have read:
1. Build Relationships. Robert Strauss, the "quintessential democratic power broker" and founder of Akin Gump law firm, was relentless in working the telephone. He built relationships (and let others do the legal work). "He was a master of the art of knowing everyone who mattered and getting things done." See also, Terry McAuliffe. Do you have a system for keeping in touch with your clients and contacts?
2. Reach Out And Touch Someone. Karl Rove owned Rove + Associates, a direct mail company catering to politicians in Texas. He is known for 'microtargeting'--carefully identifying his prospects and formulating a plan to reach them with the information that they want to hear. George H. W. Bush was well known for writing thank you notes--a lost art. Are you sending your clients and contacts information they want to hear?
3. Work A Plan. The George W. Bush presidential machine started with a plan and never varied from it. Just as the politician does not want to be labeled a 'flip flopper', the campaign must agree on a plan and stick with it. James Carville was single minded about 'the economy, stupid.' Do you have a marketing calendar for the year?
These secrets to a successful political campaign are just as applicable to your business. And, as always, they are easier said than done!