A few weeks ago, in my endless pursuit to master how to sell, I was looking at a new trainer to help me. I had been following this person for years, and even went out for drinks with him once.
What side was he on? It didn’t matter. Because it wasn’t his choice in the upcoming presidential election that was bothering me. It was the spewing of anger and hate that really turned me off.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen thousands of anti-Obama and anti-Romney posts on social media of late. But they are more than ‘anti’ political platforms. They are downright mean and nasty. And once someone posts something, there’s a firestorm of back and forth, which gets even nastier.
Maybe I’m old fashioned. Maybe it’s the reporter in me. But I think politics and business don’t mix.
Look, I’m not naive; I live in the capital of New York, so I see my fair share of business and politics right in my neighborhood.
And I am the FIRST person in line when it comes to supporting your right to freedom of speech. It’s a basic human right, something my husband actually works to ensure at the United Nations.
However, when your speech gives me pause, having me question if I should do business with you, there’s a bigger problem. YOU ARE LOSING CUSTOMERS!
Now I know some people will say, ‘Well, that’s good, as it weeds out people we don’t want to do business with.”
That’s unfortunate. I would have been a good customer, as well as referred you to others.
But now, when people ask, I’ll just say, ‘You know, there’s something about that person that made me question how important their business was.’
And let me be clear, I have strong political opinions and I am an outspoken activist in the areas I care about. But that is separate from my business. And, I have been turned off by people on my side of the divide, because I think they are putting too much political invective in places it doesn’t belong.
Social media was developed to keep us connected. Not pull us apart.
I know this Cherry Bomb won’t change those who spew hate and anger. So I suppose I can just hope things get better after the election.
What do you think? Should politics be a part of your business model?