Obama’s Brilliance

ObamaPresident Obama understands that [at the core] people want to be told what to do and to be taken care of.  He masterfully appeals to that “visceral wish.”  Folks won’t acknowledge that fact because it is an emotional response, not a rational one.  They don’t even realize it.


Life today is full of challenges.  Whether you’re trying to make ends meet or you are making big decisions for your business or family, it would be nice to have someone you trusted who could just tell you what to do.  A parent to provide the answers.  That is where the Obama “likeability” factor comes into play.  In sales it has long been recognized that “people buy emotionally and justify rationally.”  What that really means is we consider all the facts presented by a salesman and ultimately decide whether or not they are true and he or she is believable.


My oldest client, the owner of a very successful company I’ve been working with monthly since August, 1977, has said, “What I like about you Steve is that you visit me once a month, tell me what I should publicize, I write you a check, set up our next meeting, and forget about it because I know you will do it right.”  Obviously, to sustain a 35 year relationship, consistent performance is critical.  I’ve done it right!


Great salesman recognize, given the dynamics of decision-making today, where we are bombarded with competing messages and everything is specialized, that the prospective client, customer or constituent’s visceral wish is for someone to tell them what to do.  Provide the answers.  The prospective client, customer or constituent’s decision, therefore, becomes “do I trust this person can do the job?”  And that decision is affected more by feelings than facts.  Call it instinct.


Obama is a great salesman.  However, he has failed to perform well after nearly four years in office as evidenced by the debt, deficit, and divisive attitude at the capitol which he promised to change.  That said, Governor Romney will not win unless he can improve his likeability factor and gain the trust of the American people.  Recall that President Reagan was able to do that and defeated Jimmy Carter.


© 2012 Steven M. Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steven M. Stroum, founder and president of Venmark International is a seasoned publicist, marketer, and entrepreneur who has been featured in INC Magazine, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, Industrial Marketing, OMNI Magazine, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, The Middlesex News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other media outlets. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, addressed many business and civic groups, and been a guest lecturer at Boston College, Babson College, MIT, and his alma mater Northeastern University.

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