Five Sales Training Lessons Sales Professionals Can Learn from Donald Trump
- Author Steve Clark
- Published March 21, 2017
- Word count 1,713
Let’s start with what we already know to be true about Trump. About fifty percent of people love him and fifty percent of people hate him.
There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot in between.
People either like Trump or they think he is the biggest jerk to ever come down the pike.
He does an awful lot to alienate and offend certain groups of people. And by the same token, there is a similar number of people or a list of people that Trump appeals to.
So, what is the application for us, as sales professionals? The application is that you and I are very much like Trump. No matter what we do, we are going to have a significant number of people who like us and we are going to have a significant number of people that don’t like us.
Sales Training Lesson #1 Some Will Like You and Some Won’t. It is very instructive and important that you come to the realization that no matter what you do, some are going to like you and some are not going to like you. If you try to be all things to all people, and you try to appeal to every group type or individual that you come in contact with, you are going to constantly be trying to be something that you are not. And it is awfully hard to be something that you are not. You are better served if you will just be whomever it is you are and let the chips fall where they may.
In certain situations, you have to alter your communication style. Unlike Trump, who refuses to alter his communication style, we can alter our communication style without changing who we are, without changing our values, without changing things that we deem to be important. It is important that we be true to who we are, that we let people know who we are, let people know what we stand for and what we don’t stand for. It’s just as important for people to know who you are not as it is for people to know who you are.
Sales Training Lesson #2 Losers Hate Winners. It doesn’t matter what you do, when you start to win and achieve any significant degree of success and rise above mediocrity people are going to be jealous.
When you start ascending the ladder of success, particularly financial success, and it becomes obvious that you are achieving greater and greater financial success, you are going to have a lot of people, who really don’t like you and are going to take shots at you.
When I started my business in 1996, I was driving an old Honda, and my wife had a minivan.
Within just a couple years, we started to do really well. My wife got a BMW and I got a Mercedes. They weren’t brand new, but they were nice vehicles. They were certainly a step up from a Honda and a minivan.
One day at church, one of the longtime parishioners, who I thought was a friend said to me, "you know, money isn’t everything. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses." I thought that was an odd comment until I started to reflect upon it.
This guy lived in the neighborhood I lived in. His house was kind of run down and beat up a bit. His wife drove an old Pontiac Bonneville, which was on its last legs. He was working as an employee in a blue-collar, dead-end job. He looked at me, and he saw that I used to be in the same boat as him, but then all of a sudden I started making a quarter of a million dollars more than I had previously made and it became evident that I was doing well. It really made him uncomfortable, and the only way that he could make himself feel good was to take a shot at me.
Now, you notice this with Trump. Every one of the other Republican candidates that were running for the nomination, every single one of them, has taken a shot at him.
He probably is worth more money than all the other sixteen people he was against put together. They don’t like it and they see a way to elevate themselves. In their eyes, the way to elevate themselves is to take a shot at him. But the bottom line is, every one of them is insanely jealous of him.
They can’t stand him because he’s so successful. That comes under the heading that "losers hate winners," and if you’re going to join the ranks of the financially elite, you’re going to have most people in life not like you because most of the people in life aren’t financially successful and they see you as something of a threat to them.
The more successful you become, the more people are going to dislike you, and that just comes with the territory.
Sales Training Lesson #3 Stand for Something. There is a principle in physics that basically works this way; the greater the attraction of two things, the greater the repulsion of those same two things. If you take two magnets and put them on the desk and face them positive to negative, they will go together instantly and you can barely pull them apart. If you then turn one of them around and put positive to positive they will chase each other all over the table and never connect.
If something works in physics, it has to also work in everything else, including human relationships. The human relations application for this is that your ability to attract is directly proportional to your willingness to repel.
If you want to learn more about human relationships and human nature, you should study physics because everything in this world is related. Everything goes together. There are no exceptions to what happens in human nature and what happens in physics. The same principles apply.
If you are afraid of offending people or insulting people because of something you say or do, you will not have a very strong attraction to other people because people are attracted to people who have strong opinions, and the stronger your opinion about something the greater the potential to attract.
The key in business is you want your message to attract your ideal client. And, quite frankly, you shouldn’t care about anybody other than your ideal client. Now, if you are offending your ideal client that’s not a good thing. But, if you offend people who aren’t your ideal client, that’s okay, because they’re not going to become your client or give you money anyway.
So how does that relate with Trump? Trump seems to repel just as many people as he attracts.
Sales Training Lesson #4 Self Confidence. If you are not right on the borderline of arrogance, you won’t be as successful as someone who exudes extreme self- confidence.
People do not buy products and services. They buy the people or the person who is doing the selling. Buyers do not buy products and services because they don’t know enough to make great, unbiased, well thought out decisions about the products and services that you and I sell.
What they do recognize, and what they are attracted to, is our supreme level of confidence about how we sell and the advice we give. They become a client because of your supreme confidence. That’s another lesson that we can learn from Trump.
When in doubt, be bold about what you’re doing. Don’t "Mickey Mouse" around, don’t be hat-in-hand, or meek and mild. Step up, be bold, and people will be attracted to that.
Sales Training Lesson #5 Personality. What does Trump really get paid for? If you listen to him, and have read and kept up with what he’s talking about, and listened to him, he doesn’t really have a great fundamental understanding of the issues. It doesn’t appear as though he has spent much time studying the issues. In fact, I’m not even sure he cares about the issues.
I think what he cares about is being Trump, and the persona of Trump. And so, what does Donald Trump really get paid to do? He gets paid to be Donald Trump.
People seem to be attracted to that personality. They don’t seem to care that he doesn’t have a clue about some of the issues and some of the things that some of the other candidates seem to have a pretty firm grasp on.
The takeaway for all of us is that we need to realize and become more of a personality-based marketer, rather than a product and service marketer. Buyers are attracted to personality. They’re drawn to a personality like a Luna Moth is drawn to a fire. They’re not going to be drawn to a product or service, because they don’t understand a product or service, but they sure as heck do understand personality. So, you and I both should spend a lot of time creating a persona, and projecting that persona into the marketplace.
Now that personality, that persona, may or may not be the real person that we are. We may be one persona in business, and another persona, or person, outside of business. That’s okay. I’ve said it before, and I truly believe this:
Selling is an acting job. If you want to learn how to sell better, take some acting lessons, because the best sales people are really actors. It’s not who they are, it’s the role they play.
When they put on their suit in the morning, it’s show time baby, and they go out and project the image, the persona, the courage and all the stuff that they need to do in order to influence and persuade people to do what they want them to do, which is to trade them their money for their product or service.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and Mr. Trump seems to be very, very good at doing that.
If you don’t have a clear path to achieving better sales performance and your gut tells you that your current playbook is out of date, you’ve come to the right place; if you realize that the old ways of selling don’t work anymore, and you’re looking for new innovative strategies and tactics that will work in the new economy, you’ve come to the right place.
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