4 Things Donald Trump Does that Salespeople and Recruiters Should Emulate

Regardless of your political affiliation, the truth is that Donald Trump is a great salesperson. And rather than talk about whether or not these tactics have a place in political debates, let’s instead talk about what salespeople and recruiters can learn from someone who has “closed the deal” with voters over eleven million times. 

Here are some truths about Donald Trump:

  1. He knows how to uncover “pain points” in his audience
  2. He simplifies everything (Perfecting “Keep it simple, stupid” – KISS)
  3. He’s built a personal brand
  4. He understands FOMO (Fear-of-missing-out)

1 – Trump knows how to uncover pain points

If you watch any news outlet, liberal or conservative, they will all say the same thing about Trump: “he’s touched a nerve.”  

“Touching a nerve” is the goal for any value proposition. It's also referred to as “creating a recognition of needs.” Craft your value proposition so that it touches a nerve with your prospect, then communicate the value that you (and you alone) can provide to address their need.

2 – Trump simplifies everything (Keep it simple, stupid – KISS)

Many of the old sales and marketing textbooks from the 1950’s (coincidentally, right around the time Trump was born) hammered home the K.I.S.S. acronym (Keep it simple, stupid.)

What’s ironic is that one of the biggest criticisms facing Trump also acts as a major competitive edge for him. He boils down complex issues into simplified “power statements.”

For example, in response to police shootings, Trump deemed himself “the law and order candidate.”  In opposition to Hillary Clinton, Trump coined the term “crooked Hillary.” These statements have two important elements:

  1. They’re simple, concise, and memorable
  2. They lend a basic level of understanding

The lesson? Stop getting lost in the details. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Customers don’t care about your product – they care about what your product or service can do for them…so stop rattling off each and every feature. Take the Trump approach.

3 – Trump seizes every opportunity to brand himself and build a bandwagon for his fans

Everyone wants to be part of a club. If you analyze every “cult brand” you’ll find that they all have common themes of relatability, personality, and aspirational qualities. When supporters explain why they’re voting for Trump, they cite variations of the same three things: (1) He understands my needs, (2), he tells it like it is, and (3) he’s very successful. Relatable, authentic, and aspirational. Nailed it. If you give Trump credit for one thing alone - this guy knows how to brand himself. 

That being said, do you have a strategy behind your personal brand? Personal branding and social selling effectively lays the foundation of a relationship on your behalf, making it much easier to break through the clutter. 

4 – Trump knows FOMO and so should you.

When marketers leverage FOMO (fear of missing out) as a tactic, they typically communicate it by saying: “If you don’t do this, then this other bad thing will happen.” In other words, creating a sense of urgency/FOMO can be a highly effective tool to convert a prospect into a buyer. Donald Trump knows that creating a sense of urgency is highly effective in providing the motivation to get people to take action. 

In short, there many lessons to learn in this election – one of which is how to sell. Four components in Donald trump’s strategy that every sales/recruiter can leverage to create better results. And while 40% is questionable in winning a presidential election, it’s a pretty good close rate for salespeople! (It might even be good enough to win an election…).


Kate Jacoutot

Spire Workforce Solutions, 5575 Peachtree Dunwoody Road Northeast, Building C, Suite 240, Sandy Springs, GA, 30342, United States