President Obama, The Worst Salesman in America

By Ross Schriftman, RHU, LUTCF, ACBC, MSAA

It is remarkable that someone who ran such a successful campaign to be elected President is such a poor salesman when it comes to promoting his policies.  Barrack Obama’s 2008 election campaign was brilliantly executed.  His ability to inspire support for his agenda is abysmal.

The reason is obvious. He really does not understand what sales is all about.  He uses the worst tactics; the ones that give all Americans who sell for a living a bad reputation.  Let me count the ways he fails as a salesman by using his health care “reform” law as an example.

First, he doesn’t understand the needs of the buying public and decides in advance what he wants to sell; not what people feel they need.  He believes myths and doesn’t bother to really understand the issue before he launches into his sales pitch.

He doesn’t understand his product so he makes up stuff along the way.  Therefore he contradicts himself and loses all credibility. He compounds the problem by changing the terms of the agreement and fudging on the details.  He keeps having to re-explain what he meant to the buyer (all of us) so he adds to the confusion.

He gives special deals away to some of his favorite clients and makes the rest of us pay the full price.  This is called the “waiver” programs.  This creates resentment and damages his reputation for honesty.

He blames others for the failure to get his message across.  With Obamacare he blames insurance companies, Republicans, “those who oppose change”, the Tea Party and entrenched “special interest” for not going along with his failed message and opposing his idea of reform.

Ultimately he insults the buyer for failing to understand all the great things they should be supporting and dismissing rather than understanding each objection people raise.  (“Let me be clear” is one of his favorite opening lines.) His tone and facial expressions show a lack of patience for those who don’t agree with his ideas.  The most successful sales people have learned the important art of listening; not talking.

Maybe all of this is why the President has such a negative view of health insurance agents.  He doesn’t understand how sales work and doesn’t appreciate the on going value of those who sell and service health insurance for their clients.  What a shame.  If he had utilized our knowledge and experiences in crafting sensible reforms we could have been his best sales force.  Instead half the state governments, most of the business community and large majorities of the American people oppose the law.  Pieces of the law are already unraveling and his Administration is constantly presenting contradictory and untrue testimony before Congress.  Common sense reform is needed.  A great opportunity has been delayed by the worst salesman in America.



2 Responses

  1. Well said, hear hear!

  2. His manner of “selling” health care IT is similarly lacking. It ignores issues such as here:

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