Sunday, 18 April 2010

The Sky is the Limit?

I went into Camberley this morning and found myself in conversation with a very engaging Sky TV salesman with a shocking hangover but who was full of the joys of spring nevertheless!

As I upgraded my Sky subscription with him to HD (High Definition) I asked him how business was. He told me that business was absolutely outstanding! He explained that his sales target is 25 'sign-ups' per month and that this weekend he had sold a staggering 24 by 11.00 o'clock on Sunday morning!

He didn't seem able to explain this sudden, hugely unexpected bounce in demand other than some technical difficulty that some local people were having with their Virgin TV boxes, but was clearly enjoying it immensely. He explained he was going for what he called 'A Big Fat Barbeque' after work and was going to get horribly drunk to celebrate!

It took me a while to work it out but then I realised.. Of course.. The Leader's TV debate on Thursday is on Sky.. and the hype surrounding the last debate is driving people to sign-up for Sky TV so they can watch the next one..

David Cameron needs to ensure that this debate is Nick Clegg's high-point and then really turn things around in the last debate.. If I recall it correctly, this debate is based on world-affairs. So, Nick is going to have a huge audience and he is going to be able to play his Wild Card - 'The Iraq' factor. (i.e. only his party opposed it). Unless he loses the plot, he cannot fail to win a huge amount of support. I would be very surprised if the polling figures next weekend don't show him in the low to mid 40s.

But Cameron must not attack Clegg personally.. he will just set people against him. Instead he must be moderately kindly in his approach to him. But, he must also spread FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) about his party and it's policies.

Rather than lashing out at Clegg. He must say 'I am sorry Nick but'  when attacking Clegg's policies or approach as if to say 'I like your enthusiasm but it really just will not work..' DC needs to build on the foundation he built in the last debate as a statesman not confuse everyone by changing his approach.

The temptation in this kind of 'sales scenario' (when suddenly a competitor manages to put themselves unexpectedly in 'pole-position') is to lash out and start blustering.. it never works. You just lose credibility. Instead, you should listen attentively to understand what it is that the competitor has offered to cause the reaction and then start breaking the view down with FUD - basically start disassembling the competitor's arguments and show the punter that you understand what they want and that what YOU have to offer is the best way of achieving it..

One clip that keeps being replayed from the TV debate is the one where DC says something like:

'I hope to help lead this country'.. Horribly weak language - you may get what you wish for and only 'help' lead! DC should be saying 'I will lead'. If DC leaves a vacuum then Clegg will fill it...

It's not just the Lib-Dems who are benefiting from the Leader's Debates is it?

Many are wondering why Cameron agreed to the debates. Perhaps there is a connection between Cameron agreeing to Sky's debate proposal and the Murdoch empire's support for the Conservatives. Without DC's support the debates could not have gone ahead - because he was the only one with something to lose.

Did Cameron get hoodwinked by Sky?

By the way, the name of the Sky TV Salesman was coincidentally..

Yes you guessed it.



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