Monday Buzz: The Lesson You Shouldn’t Take From the Election Day Buildup
Don't let the contagious negativity from this year's political cycle infect your association. Plus: tips for Thanksgiving events.
By now you’re probably sick of the barrage of negative campaign ads that have taken over the airwaves this fall, especially if your state is home to a competitive race. But don’t let politicians’ persistent hostility influence your strategy for dealing with your business rivals, Grow My Revenue CEO Ian Altman recommends.
“Politicians know they are battling over the ‘undecided’ votes of less than 20 percent,” Altman writes in an op-ed for Forbes. “It’s just the way it works in a two-party system. They recognize that their camp won’t be turned away by negative ads. … A negative ad hopes to convince the ones in the middle that the other candidate is more ‘evil’ than the person running the ad.”
And there’s plenty of research that shows how effective these ads are in swaying at least some of the electorate. So why not apply those same tactics against a rival association?
“You might think that speaking ill of your competitor in business would win you some ‘votes’ with your potential customer. Not so fast,” Altman warns. He then lays out three reasons why you shouldn’t use the smear-campaign strategy in your professional life.
The person whose business you’re seeking could already have a relationship with your competitor, and insulting the latter could insult the former, too.
Your potential client already gets an earful about vendors from more than enough complainers within the business, so why tie yourself to all of that negativity?
You risk appearing fearful or jealous and portraying your organization in the same light.
For more on how to avoid going negative, and how you can more productively address the competition with third parties and possible partners, check out Altman’s full op-ed here.
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