While I detest the political spin meisters who fill the television airwaves these days, they do offer salespeople some valuable lessons.
Tip #1 - Clearly define your target market.
It's figuratively possible that anyone in the U.S. could vote for either Kerry or Bush, but the truth of the matter is that they each appeal to certain demographics. The campaigns know who's likely to vote for their candidate. They're investing significant time, energy and resources to ensure their base gets out to vote. Kerry invests no time with the right wing Christian Coalition. Bush avoids African Americans. The only common group they're pursuing as the campaign comes to a close is the undecided voter - of which there are few.
How does this apply to salespeople? It's imperative to know who is most likely to buy from you. Way too many sellers erroneously believe that "everyone" can benefit from their services. While that may be true, their offering is much more likely to be valued by a small subset of the whole. By clearly defining and pursuing this demographic, they'll be light years ahead.
Quick example: I know sales and could help just about everyone improve their selling skills. But I only work in the business-to-business sales arena where it's a complex sale involving multiple decision makers. And I really prefer working with professional services and technology-driving firms. By being so clear on my "fit", I significantly increase my sales success. And I spend no money or time on peripheral areas such as retail sales, consumer goods, insurance, etc.
Yes, we can learn from the political spin meisters.