9 Things Every Salesperson Can Learn from Trump
Love him or hate him, ya gotta admit Donald Trump is a very savvy salesman. The guy has the ability to persuade in an extremely effective way.
Could it be that he’s like Samson and the magic orange hair gives him power? It’s no biblical tale but rather some specific things he does that allows him to persuade and convince and get the masses (some of them) agreeing with him.
As a salesperson there’s several things you can learn from Trump that you can take with you. They are listed below for your perusal.
He has incredible confidence in himself. Donald Trump is his own biggest fan. He never doubts his own abilities and never questions his personal resolve. Even through the ups and downs of the business cycle, he never stopped believing in what he can achieve. Now, thanks in no small part to this confidence, he is the Republican nominee for President of the USA.
What you can take away: Trust yourself to make the right decisions, and don’t give up even when you are down. Believe that you too could have your name on the side of a building or President of the United States.
He repeats himself. When Donald Trump speaks to the media or in front of large groups of people, he’ll often pick a word or phrase and say it again and again. And again. (His magic number is three.) Why does he do this, much to the chagrin of his rivals? Because it makes his message stick clearer in the people’s minds. Everything he says becomes kind of a catch-phrase and the repetition has an almost hypnotic effect.
What you can take away: Stay on message. Find your key selling points. Don’t be afraid to say the same thing over and over or repeat words for emphasis (go for threes).
He uses simple language. A reporter for the Washington Post did an analysis of Donald Trump’s speeches and found an interesting thing. Unlike other politicians, that often speak in long-winded hyperbole, he uses short sentences with the important words at the end. When Trump talks, the reporter concluded, his phrases end with a “pop.”
What you can take away: Try to refrain from using too many flowery words or complicated industry jargon that’s dull or hard to follow. Hone your sales pitch to the essence – make every sentence “pop.”
He uses humor to effect. Donald Trump is not afraid to tell a joke or make a funny face. He often does it to lighten the mood (or put his rivals down). A bit of humor in the middle of his speeches, no matter how serious, gives the audience a chance to laugh, which makes them relax.
What you can take away: Lighten up your pitch at key moments, particularly after strong statements or heavy calls-to-action. It’s all about timing and delivery.
He is not afraid to fail. Donald Trump’s life has actually been filled with failure. Lawsuits, divorces, and even bankruptcies, his last being in 2009. But every time he has emerged from the ashes in a stronger position than before. Remember, his odds of winning the Republican nomination were considered very slim but he went for it anyway.
What you can take away: Big rewards can come with big risks. Sometimes you have to just through it all on the line and go for it.
Ok ok ok, that’s all well and good.
Nobody’s perfect so now let’s look at some of the things The Donald does that every salesperson should AVOID.
He regularly offends people. Donald Trump has a habit of speaking his mind, often unfiltered. While speaking your mind in the proper settings is an admirable trait you’re going to want to keep religion and politics opinions out of your sales pitch. Save your divisive opinions for your time with friends or especially the family over Christmas holiday where you know you can get an easy rise out of Uncle Dan who believes the complete opposite of you in pretty much everything.
What you can take away: Always be polite when dealing with customers, even if they reject you. Avoid using derogatory words or phrases, even as jokes, as the person you are talking to may not share your sentiment.
He has an oversized ego. On the political trail, perhaps this is a good thing as it has helped catapult him to the top of the race, but in sales, a massive ego can get in the way. Part of the reason he’s been involved in so many lawsuits is due to always having to be “right.”
What you can take away: You are there to support the customer, not the other way around. Have confidence, yes, never give up, yes, but check the “me first” attitude at the door.
He goes with his gut. This is a trait that can be both positive and negative. Donald seems to quickly make decisions without consulting others. That has brought him some success but also caused a lot of consternation and chaos within his organizations.
What you can take away: Trust your instincts, but surround yourself with good people. Listen to other people’s advice, especially those that are more experienced. Don’t make decisions too quickly without completely thinking through all the consequences and/or fallout.
He has made unsavory or at least unethical promises. One of the biggest scandals Trump is embroiled in is Trump University, where thousands of people claim they were defrauded out of their life savings. In the lawsuits, they claim they were promised personal access to Donald Trump as well as secrets to his success; in the end they say they received generic advice and only got a photo opportunity with a cardboard cutout. Documents revealed in the case show salespeople were told to aggressively push people to sign contracts and make empty promises.
What you can take away: Don’t use phony tactics, intimidation, or make empty promises just to get a sale. Never skirt the law or compromise ethics by promising things that you cannot keep. Be open and truthful about what your product can and cannot do.
As you can see, there is a lot to learn from Mr. Trump. Embrace the good and avoid the bad to be the best that you can be.