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Five Things All Salespeople Can Learn From Donald Trump

May 7th, 2016

Many love him, many hate him. But it is a fact that Donald Trump has energized a huge new legion of voters and has trounced 16 formidable competitors. As a result, he is now the presumptive winner to become the next Republican Presidential candidate. Every one of Trump’s competitors had more political experience, but he beat them all in a landslide.

His rapid demise was predicted by most politicos, “experts”, and observers. Facing overwhelming odds, Trump won big. Despite one’s personal opinion of the man, it’s difficult to argue that his success is anything short of a total phenomenon. What did he know that the others didn’t? What can we learn from Mr. Trump?  


Here are five things Trump understands that can help you generate more sales:

Emotion always “trumps” logic when it comes to making buying decisions: 

Sixteen candidates spent considerable time and effort defending their policies, offering what they believed to be logical arguments as to why they would “work best”. Trump instead connected with voters on an emotional level. While others invested their limited face-time and resources getting into the weeds, Trump focused upon voter pains—their angers, frustrations, concerns, fears, and anxieties.  


Different is GREAT: 

Buyers think most salespeople are boring. So are politicians. Whether a prospective “buyer” is hearing from a salesman or a politico, what they typically hear is blah, blah, blah. Research demonstrates that the vast majority of most salespeople’s words fall on totally deaf ears. The other candidates each had a difficult time standing out. No one could argue that Trump was totally different.


Most people don’t trust politicians (or salespeople): 

Trump used his understanding of this basic principle and worked hard to convince voters that he knew little about politics. He also worked hard to make them understand he was an outsider. You should, too.


Pattern interruptions get people’s attention, and keep them coming back for more:

If you wish to connect with people, you must first get them to listen. This is tougher today than ever. The majority of politicians (and salespeople) sound scripted.   Whether they are standing before a crowd or an individual, most of their lines (and questions) are essentially talking points. Trump has developed a reputation of rarely saying what is expected. Whether you are a Trump fan or not, most people are intrigued by what he might say next. So people listen.


Premature Satisfaction™ can knock you out of the race:

16 of the 17 candidates shared very detailed plans for how they would move America into the future.  Trump’s strategy of offering brief “what” bullets, but very little “how”, has resulted in records in garnering primary votes. The others invested their limited face-time and resources getting into the weeds. Similarly, most salespeople waste far too much time explaining and demonstration HOW their solution works, and they do so way too early in the sales process.

Once the other candidates unloaded all their barrels, they basically commoditized themselves, giving voters a perfectly good reason to tune out. Premature Satisfaction™ sinks salespeople every day.  Don’t fall victim to this debilitating condition.


Despite your opinion of his competency and character, most observers would agree that Trump is an excellent marketer who is skilled at personal branding.  However, it is also evident that he is a skilled salesperson with a great understanding of the psychology of buyers.


Copyright ©   Joe Zente  2016.   All Rights Reserved.