A campaign requires a number of resources: Time, money, votes, volunteers, etc. And as long as there’s enough time, you can always get more of the others. BUT…
You don’t have any more time. Election Day is coming on Election Day and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
Indeed, in just the short amount of time it took you to read this far, you now have less time for your campaign than you did…and you can’t get it back. So don’t waste any more time (AFTER reading this, of course!).
That means you need to STOP spending time on things (other than family!) that don’t move you forward to winning your election. And that includes avoiding “time vampires.”
I heard the term time vampire from marketing legend Dan Kennedy. I use it to refer to people who love to talk your ear off…but offer you nothing of real useful value in return. These folks love to chew the fat, but can’t/won’t help you raise more money, recruit more volunteers or get you more votes.
The only thing of value they bring is their opinion – which, in most cases, is as valuable as a dead carp in your bathtub.
And they’re everywhere. They’ll accost you at town hall meetings. They’ll engage you at church or iHop. They’ll tie you up at the door. They’ll keep you on the phone for half an hour…or more, if you let them.
Which is why it’s best for you, as a candidate, to always travel with someone else…a “bad cop.”
If a time vampire sinks its teeth into you, it’s the job of your traveling companion to diplomatically break out the figurative crucifix and drive him or her away. “Mr. Smith, pardon me, by Ms. Jones wants to say hello.” Or, “Sorry, Mr. Smith, but we need to get going. You have another meeting to get to.”
As a candidate, it’s preferable that you not be the bad guy who shuts off a time vampire. But shutting them down is critical, because there’s no way to get back the time they waste. On the other hand….
Train YOUR volunteers and supporters to be time vampires to your opponent!
Every second that one of your supporters can tie up your opponent talking to them about what your campaign wants to be talking about is time they will not be able to talk to undecided voters or potential donors about what they want to talk about.
Make sure that if your opponent comes to the door of one of your supporters that your supporter doesn’t sic the dog on him and run him off to the next door. Instead, invite him in for coffee and slice of pie! Keep him or her there for as long as he or she is willing to stay. Because every minute your supporter ties up your opponent is a minute your opponent can’t get back.
So, yes, beware of time vampires. But on the other hand, recruit and train your own army of them!