Later on this week I'm going to be involved in a little "one-on-one" marketing. We've all done it...a little schmoozing...a little back slapping...too little direct conversation.
I'm headed to the state capitol here in Des Moines (Greatest City in the World...and I've got a t-shirt that says so!). The mission is to visit with legislators on behalf of a client. The post today outlines some thoughts about how to engage politicians or really anybody who you want to influence. I believe that politicians and others really do want your input...so:
Thought #1: Be involved "all the time" and not just when government is trying to take something away or adding something you don't like. Get to know WHO your elected representatives are and visit with them about not only your "issue" but also about them. Believe it or not...elected people are...people. They have families, jobs, interests.
Thought #2: Negotiate. Life is NOT all black and white and nobody gets all they want every time. (Think dictators...they get what they want all the time.) Politics is about negotiation.
Thought #3: Be Clear and Quick: Know what the issue is, explain the issue clearly don't expect the person you are dealing with to know as much about it as you do. Remember they have thousands of people to represent... And, do it in no more than two minutes. State your points, answer questions and ask for action.
Finally: Be nice. I've seen folks, right after the handshake, go into "Kill Mode"! Dumb....really dumb. Even if you disagree explain your position thoughtfully. Leave the screaming to the wackos.
Opps...one other thing: Check what is "hot" at your state house by checking the legislative website. Here in Iowa we've got a great site with lots of info on Bills, who is who, committees, lobbyists, etc. Check it out!
Stuff matters...get involved, stay involved and win some for your company, client or interest.