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A Lesson In Sales From Potential President Donald Trump

October 19, 2016

 

 

Love him. Hate him. It doesn't matter. Donald Trump is a master salesman.

 

Whether it's steaks, airlines, neckties, or reality TV, this media mogul knows how to call you to action and close the sale.

 

I've owned this book for nearly a decade now. It's one of my personal favorite. It's a short easy read and contains multiple lessons from The Donald himself. - It is also the book I used to hide all of my cash in before I got married and had kids. Now there's just an empty Wells Fargo envelope in the back cover to remind me of days past. - And the overarching theme of the book is very clear:

 

Never Give Up.

 

As people in sales it's easy to get down and feel the low points. And each chapter of this book shares just that, the low points from Trump himself. Because even billionaires have them.

 

My favorite story from the book is one of the many stories of the impossible that can be found in the world of entrepreneurs. It's the story of Wollman Rink in Central Park in New York City. 

 

We best understand the world through compelling narratives, and Irwin Kula and Craig Hatkoff from Forbes tell the story best:

 

“Once upon a time there was an ice skating rink in Central Park that could no longer make ice. No one could figure out how to fix the skating rink. Years went by and millions of dollars were spent and still no ice. One day a white knight wearing a bright red tie showed up and said: ' Let there be ice!’ Four months later there was ice. When asked by the press why the people had been unable to fix the rink themselves the knight said 'they’re very nice people and I like them very much but they're all idiots!' And everyone lived happily ever after.”

 

Pretty much the true story of the Wollman Skating Rink fiasco.

 

You can even check the New York Times. On May 31, 1986 Donald Trump said in in interview with the Times, "I don't want my name attached to losers. So far the Wollman Rink has been one of the great losers. I'll make it a winner.'' Shortly after Trump decided to slap his name on Wollman Rink, if you read the fine print. Now, 30 years later, Wollman Rink is a winner and the Trump name is still associated with it. Just check the Wollman Skating Rink website. There it is! The famous, or, according to some, infamous TRUMP red logo.

 

Sitting for nearly a decade in disrepair and already having had $12 million spent in renovations, the rink was a disaster until Trump decided to get personally involved, and pledged his own money to finish the ice rink in 6 months.

 

Yep.

 

In 6 months and for $3 million he wanted to do what a decade and $12 hadn't.

 

And he did.

 

And at first people laughed. They scorned. They mocked. And they thought the flamboyant Trump couldn't do it.

 

But he did.

 

Even though there were some low points and challenges in the process.

 

And there's a great lesson in that.

 

How many times have you set a sales goal only to be laughed at, perhaps by a fellow employee, a boss, or even worse, yourself?

 

How often have you got on a webinar to pitch your training with a goal of XXX number of enrollments, but hit the end of the livestream only to realize you haven't sold a dime?

 

It happens.

 

But don't let your past failures keep you from setting new goals and standards for yourself.

 

Had Donald Trump followed the wisdom of the contractors, the mayor of New York, and common sense, Wollman Rink could very well just be another grassy knoll in Central Park today.

 

But he did the impossible.

 

So now you go do the impossible.

 

Others might laugh, but I'll cheer you on.

 

 

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