Selling The Tea Party, Part II: By Charles Robertson, Co-founder Broward Tea Party
This blog is part II on “Selling the Tea Party.” If you haven’t read part 1 then stop after this sentence, go back and read part I first, then come back. You wouldn’t want someone to watch The Godfather Part II then watch Part I, there’s a logical sequence here. OK now that you’ve read Part I, you understand what we’re selling; now let me share why it is so important that you take on this sales role.
I recently watched the Kirk Cameron movie Monumental and it was all that I expected. The movie itself was indeed monumental. Everyone I spoke to agreed that they learned about our true pilgrim history, learned how revisionist historians have ignored our spiritual roots, and finally we learned how we can get back on the course our forefathers laid out for us. The answers will be coming soon in the form of more “monumental” movies, books, training material, etc. Capitalism is alive and well and that’s fine if it gets people to take action. If the items I just mentioned were available at the theatre I’m sure they would have sold well, but then what? How does that change our economy, our political system, our future? Knowledge without a practical application is like money sitting in a bank when it’s needed for food. The people who needed to watch that movie are not the ones who showed up. Likewise those of us who attend our Tea Party meetings are not the ones who most need to hear our message.
Our fellow under-informed, distracted, complacent, disgruntled voters are not hearing the Tea Party message because no one is bringing the message to them. The message is being delivered by FOX News, talk radio, and various conservative outlets but that’s preaching to the choir. The voters we seek to reach are the fence sitting, undecided independents, the youth, the elderly, and the half-hearted not sure I’m a liberal, liberal. Most of these voters are not tuned in to the aforementioned conservative outlets. When they do take the time to pursue political information they’re getting it from all the wrong sources which underscores the important sales role we need to undertake. As the saying goes…”If not us who, if not now, when?”
Okay, so you’re onboard, good; Let’s learn how to do this the right way. The first lesson is that sales time is all the time. Opportunities will often come when least expected and we need to have our sales radar on 24/7. Remember, we only need to sell a bite of the enchalada, getting someone to attend our meeting. Once they attend, it becomes our job to sell the whole enchilada – political activism. Our foot in the door often comes when others are complaining about…. and you can fill in the blank. A complaint calls out for a solution and there’s your opening. Our Tea Party movement is the solution for most of what ails our country; it’s all in the way we sell it.
The common misconception about sales is that it mostly involves smooth talking. True sales pros know that listening is the key. The strategy is to question your target until you’ve defined and reached agreement on the problem or need. Then you’re on to selling the solution to the problem or need. The solution is joining a larger group that is fighting the same problem or fulfilling the same need your target has. This stage involves preparing your responses to the various objections that will surely come. “I don’t have the time…the system is broken and it’s fruitless to try…I’m not an activist…I avoid politics…we’re outnumbered,” and the list goes on. You need to have responses ready to overcome these and other objections.
Once all objections are overcome, you’re ready to create the selling climate which involves stirring emotions. After you’ve addressed the final objection, ask how they feel about a recent hot topic such as the GSA scandal. That will get them emotionally involved and set the stage for the action step. After they share their frustration or anger, you simply agree and then that leads to closing the sale which might go like this: YOU – “I agree our government has gotten out of control. There are a lot of people who are fighting back and I’m one of them. Why don’t you join me at the next Broward Tea Party Meeting in (X) weeks, we can make a difference?” Make sure you extend this invitation with enthusiasm, like you just invited them to Disney World. Remember this is new to them and there’s a natural reluctance to overcome which you can easily do by sharing your enthusiasm. You’ve just invited them on your team, you’ve given them a chance to become empowered, and you’ve offered them an opportunity to become stronger, better citizens. You should be proud of yourself; you have the courage to back your convictions. If enough of us step forward to recruit others, our Broward Tea Party and our movement can’t help but succeed. Thanks to you!