Tips for Selling in an Election Season

September 6, 2016

With the conventions now behind us, it may feel too late to sell in an election season. Not so! The presidency is but one of many seats up for grabs this Fall. This election cycle will see 469 congressional races, with 436 house and 34 senate seats up for election. If you’re looking to make a splash, those are the races to focus on.

T-shirts are the perfect promotional product for political campaigns. Unlike a yard sign, t-shirts can move around and generate more impressions. Although bumper stickers are mobile, they are semi-permanent fixtures on vehicles and lack the same effect. When voters see a supporter in a campaign t-shirt, it creates a personal association with whomever is wearing the t-shirt.

So, how should you sell this election season? Think local. By working at the local level, you have greater capacity for developing relationships with campaign staffers. Additionally, congresspeople serve two-year terms, allowing for more frequent sales opportunities in future elections.

A successful election sales strategy starts with developing strong relationships. Avoid working with a candidate for the sake of getting into the political world. Instead, find and work with a candidate who you believe in. If you’re inspired by their platform, they’ll feel comfortable working with you. If they’re successful, you’ve created the foundation for the relationship.

Once you’ve built a working relationship, it’s important to deliver. Between media engagements, speeches and donor meetings, election seasons are stressful for candidates, especially first-timers. In such a demanding position, promotional products should be their last concern. Make yourself indispensable to your client by delivering high quality products on time.

Despite the chaos, election seasons are great fun. Research your state’s races. Determine who’s running and try to connect with a candidate whose platform resonates with you. Get in touch with their campaign manager and schedule a meeting. Use this as an opportunity to get acquainted, but also present decorated samples for the campaign to help make a lasting impression.