Donald Trump’s Sales and Success Lessons

Random Rants

trumpDonald Trump.

Just the name itself sets off a variety of polarizing emotions and opinions.

Regardless of how you feel about him politically or personally–I am keeping my opinion on that completely out of this–there is no denying that he has been a tremendous business and media success.

And regardless of whether you agree with his methods, anyone can learn from some of his strategies and philosophies.

Let’s take a look.

Personal Branding. Trump has said that people “…will know a gold standard brand because the name will stand for the gold standard. It takes the guesswork out.”

People pay Trump to put his name on real estate developments, golf courses, clothing, and more.

Do you set yourself apart?

Regardless of what you sell, what no competitor has is YOU.

I was listening to a top sales rep’s calls and a prospect said, “I can get your product from a hundred other vendors cheaper. Why would I buy from you?”

She replied with, “Yes, you could get the product. But you won’t get me. Here’s what you will get…”

Passion is Power.  Trump feels that the main ingredient for success is energy. Nothing great can ever be accomplished without “amazing” levels of energy, and energy comes from passion.

So what’s the lesson? You need to have, or acquire passion for what you do. Then you will always have the energy to accomplish your dreams.

He says, “Without passion you don’t have energy; without energy you have nothing. It’s necessary in order to withstand the challenges and difficulties one will face.”

Think Big. I’ve used this quote from Donald Trump for years, since I first read his first book, “The Art of the Deal,” in 1987:

“I like thinking big. I always have. To me it’s very simple: if you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”

Sales is a 24/7 Profession. Over the years any time you would see Trump in an interview or on his own show he was a walking billboard for his own clothing line.

And he would always drop in references to his properties, his golf courses, and other projects. Always building his brand and image.

This is also related to the passion mentioned earlier. Do you switch it off when you leave the office. Or, do you LIVE sales and are you always on the lookout for ideas you can use in your prospecting and selling? I text myself almost every day when I am out and see or hear a sales situation or story I can use and share with you.

Fearless Failure. Like every massively successful person, Trump has had his share of setbacks. In regards to failures he has said, “It’s a blip, not a catastrophe.”

He has made billions, lost billions, and made them back. Companies he has been a part of have filed Chapter 11 FOUR times. (Although he personally has never filed for bankruptcy.) His airline, and vodka brand failed. But he seems to be doing pretty well.

A mistake some salespeople make is dwelling on their no’s instead of their successes. You have to wade through the no’s and setbacks to get to the deals. And you do forget about the no’s, while you enjoy the fruits of your sales many times over.

Quality is King.  Similar to the branding mentioned earlier, Trump believes in being the best, doing the best, being associated with the best.  He says,

“I build quality things. It’s a very important word to me. I out-quality everybody. That’s why my buildings do better, why my clubs do better, and why my projects do better. So whatever you’re doing, do it with quality. Be the best at what you do.”

Power through everything—even the crap.

Trump says,

“I see so many people who have a lot of ability, but they quit. They lose faith. They lose confidence. They just don’t take it to the end. I always tell people, ‘Never quit.’ Obviously, you need the brainpower, which you’re born with one way or the other. But I see so many people with all of the abilities and they give up. You’ll never make it unless you overcome the fears and the inhibitions and stick with what you’re doing. There will be good days and there will be tough days, but stick with it.”

Get the Word Out. In “The Art of the Deal” Trump wrote,

“You can have the most wonderful product in the world but if people don’t know about it, it’s not going to be worth much. There are singers in the world with a voice as good as Frank Sinatra’s, but they’re singing in their garages because no one has ever heard of them. You need to generate interest, and you need to create excitement.”

So true on so many levels. You probably have companies in your industry that are no better product or service-wise than anyone else, and/or individuals—maybe even in your own company—who are crushing it. What sets them apart?

Trump also has said,

“I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves but they can still get very excited by those who do.  That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration and a very effective form of promotion.”

Regardless of whether you like him,  despise him, or are indifferent, we all can benefit from some of Donald Trump’s common sense success principles and actions.


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