Cameron in India – how is his sales technique?

It is difficult for a Prime Minister making foreign visits such as David Cameron's to India.  His apparent audience is the country being visited, but of course the other audience is the UK domestic one, the voters who may become more or less inclined to support the Coalition because of what they see of his performance on Indian soil. And in this case Cameron has made it clear the visit is about trade primarily with relationship building also important.

But while I appreciate the difficulty of playing to these two different audiences, I wonder whether the tone has been quite right here? This is a quote from the BBC website yesterday.

"In a speech at the IT firm Infosys in Bangalore, Mr Cameron said he was on a mission to create jobs in the UK but also stressed that there was much for India in a "new relationship" with the UK."

And the Mirror reported it as, " Cameron in jobs mission to India"

Now, I appreciate that this is largely for UK audience consumption, but how is it playing in India?  If this trip is the equivalent of the MD and Sales Director making a call on the Procurement Director (or MD) of  a potentially huge customer, what would be the most basic sales advice we would give?  I suspect it would be this,

Tell the customer how your products or services can help them and their business.

That is the basis of sales techniques such as Huthwaite's SPIN Selling (which I did a few years ago and found a real eye-opener after 20 years in procurement).   But Cameron is constantly emphasising on this trip that it is all about jobs in Britain.  Well, with the greatest of respect, the Infosys audience and others in India  don't care in the slightest about that (and why should they?).  It is like the Sales Director coming in and saying to the CPO (and I have actaully heard this a few times over the years)  'give me an order because we're desperate for the business'.  Sympathy selling, we might call it, and sorry, it doesn't do anything for me.

So perhaps there needed to be more in terms of selling the benefits for India of trading with us - where could we work together to help them with some of their major issues, where could we see some knowledge transfer that would benefit their economy and so on.  "Jobs for Brits" is not a slogan that is going to motivate the emerging Indian middle class, or their Government procurement people, to buy from the UK.

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