First rule of selling – don’t turn off your prospect.
I have spent my entire work life in sales in client facing roles. Sometimes in client meetings I have had customers that have aired thoughts about politics, religion or many other emotional topics. I have always ignored these comments as I have always ignored gossip. Although, I may have had opinions (sometimes emotional opinions) I felt business was not the space to air or discuss personal non-business subjects.
In a business environment I speak about business issues.
I have also seen salespeople put their big feet in their big mouth and kill the business before it even starts by insulting the prospect’s beliefs. Airing personal opinions in business environments is just wrong. Unless it is company policy don’t discuss.
Conducting business effectively is always about understanding that people will have values, thoughts, ideas and lifestyles that are different from our own and that we may disagree with their beliefs and choices. Not discussing these topics is the respectful approach but also makes good business sense.
Should we do business with people we disagree? Of course.
I think if we don’t want to work or do business with people different from ourselves we won’t last long. Expressing our religious or political views publicly guarantees we are likely to offend or upset somebody.
Further, If you want to avoid potentially losing a customer, the friendship of a colleague, a promotion and even a job then keep your personal views personal.
Ask yourself, if sitting in a meeting with your company president and three of your companies biggest potential customers would you discuss – politics, religion or sex?
Your biggest potential customers on are LinkedIn – I guarantee it!
LinkedIn is not the space to discuss views on: Politics, Religion, or Sex – these topics are not business topics!