Having watched the UK referendum on EU membership, I was fascinated with the approaches of the two sides in selling their solutions, especially as the result was a shock and flew in the face of all the key politicians, experts, and the markets. When I looked to examine what had happened and how the Leave campaign had won, I found these four interesting approaches which could be beneficial if used in the right way with good products and services.
Show That You Are Listening And That You Care
One of the main problems with the Remain campaign was that it just kept telling people that it knew best, that they had the best solution. Whereas the Leave campaign showed that it was listening, that it understood their plight and that it wanted to do something to help them make things better. They looked like they cared more about the voters and made them feel valued.
Connect With People Emotionally, Not Logically
The result of the Brexit vote was a shock to many people and one of the key reasons that the LEAVE campaign did so well was because they looked to connect with people emotionally and not logically. They focused the campaign on topics such as Immigration, Sovereignty and how great Great Britain had been.
They highlighted the feeling of helplessness, the loss of control and they claimed that they would be the side to regain the former control and glories of Great Britain.
It reinforced the idea of selling benefits not features as these are more connected to emotions.
Sell People the Big Picture Not the Details
In the same way that Trump successfully just focuses on Making America Great with very few details, the Leave campaign also focused on the big picture with their key statement "Let's take control back".
When you look for a plan of how this will work or the details of what it actually means there is very little information available, but that didn't seem to matter. When I ask people supporting the Leave campaign about this, they just said we want to be 'in control' again.
They were only interested in the result, the aspiration, not exactly how it would be achieved. Which to me is counter-intuitive, because if there is no plan, then I don't tend to not believe I will achieve the result.
Stick to the big picture and don't get bogged down in details
Not Everyone is Going to Like You, But That's Ok
There was no love lost between the two sides in this discussion, and a lot of the debates have become very heated and passionate creating great divides.
The obvious approach here would be to look to soften the language and try to appeal to a broader audience. But that wasn't the approach of the Leave campaign; they knew who their target market was, and they focused solely on them. They didn't seem to care if they were hated by the opposition.
Their goal was not to court everyone but to sell their idea to their ideal voters. They were happy with the maxim; you can't please all of the people all the time, and they knew who they had to please and went after them.
Too often we end up trying to sell to everyone which dilutes our messages when we would be better just focusing on our tribe and target customers.
Going forward my sales and marketing is going to be targeted at my ideal customers, focusing on listening to their concerns and showing I care, connecting with them emotionally not logically, and focusing on the results, not the how. With good products and the right approach it will significant help increase sales revenue.