Selling Power Magazine Article

Donald Trump's 13 Blueprints for Achievement
Gerhard Gschwandtner
(This article has been previously published as the cover story in Selling Power magazine.)

New York, NY - Donald Trump lives in two worlds. The first consists of a skyline of impressive buildings, a world measured in dollars and deals. The second - his personal life - is a world fueled by fantasy and filled with dreams.

Trump is a salesman who knows how to sell the ultimate intangible - mystique. No matter what business deals he gets involved in, or what steps he takes in his private life, his every move makes headlines. The name Trump sells newspapers, magazines, books and TV shows. Many people crave to be seen with him. Many heads of state have accepted an invitation to visit The Donald's luxurious private quarters on the top three floors of Trump Tower. When Trump's private 727 jet touches down at Palm Beach private airport, or when he lands in his helicopter at Atlantic City's Taj Mahal, he makes a symbolic statement that only a very few people can make without saying a word: "I have arrived."

Some people love him, others hate him, but one thing is sure: everybody talks about him. Does he care whether he gets good press or bad press? No. Trump knows that the printed word keeps his name in people's minds and feeds the mystique he has created. In his million-copy bestseller Trump, The Art of the Deal, he writes, "...from a purely business point of view, the benefits of being written about have far outweighed the drawbacks."

Although Donald Trump enjoys press conferences with a team of reporters, he tends to get impatient during one-on-one interviews. In his conversation with Selling Power he tried several times to cut off the chance for follow-up questions by punctuating the end of his answers with "Let's go!" "Next!..." "Okay!..." He also made sure that we would not forget his ultimate goal, asking, "This is going to be the cover story, right?" In this rare interview, Trump talked candidly about his deals, his selling techniques and the lessons he learned on a colorful journey that has led him to thrilling successes, terrifying setbacks and a spectacular comeback.

To help you translate Donald Trump's lessons and blueprints into meaningful action steps, each segment of this article is followed by questions that will lead you to think about your own selling situations. Compare your answers to these questions with Donald Trump's ideas and use them as benchmarks for your own success.

1. Trump on Opportunity

Recognize opportunities where others see only difficulties. In 1975, Donald Trump learned that Penn Central Railroad, owner of several old hotels in Manhattan, was unable to pay the property taxes for the recently renovated Commodore Hotel on 42nd Street. None of New York's big developers were interested in the property, and Donald Trump had little cash (his net, taxable income for fiscal 1975 was only $76,210). However, he recognized an outstanding opportunity, purchased an option to buy the property, sold the city on giving him a tax break, sold an insurance company and a bank on giving him the funds, and sold the Hyatt Corporation on becoming a partner in operating the hotel. In September 1980, the once ugly Commodore duckling was presented by a beaming Donald as New York's most beautiful swan, the Grand Hyatt, a 1,400-room luxury hotel, gleaming in smoked glass, polished marble and brass, creating steady employment for over 1,500 people and a healthy revenue stream for the city.

ACHIEVEMENT IDEA: Think of three opportunities in your sales territory. How can you turn present problems into future profits?

2. Trump on Salesmanship

Donald Trump, who turned 59 in June of this year, was educated at the New York Military Academy. He  began his undergraduate education at Fordham University and then transferred to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed his undergraduate degree. Like many other excellent salespeople, Trump learned selling through the school of hard knocks. He told Selling Power, "I think that good salesmanship comes from a combination of good instincts and a good product. I consider myself to be a person who understands people and who knows what people need. To me, selling begins with investing time in preparation and planning. In order to be able to sell, I have to believe in the product. If I did not have great buildings, I don't know that I would be able to sell as well as I do. Buildings like the Taj Mahal, the Plaza Hotel or Trump Tower are great buildings.

"Good salespeople must rely on three key qualities: first, enthusiasm; second, an understanding of the people they are dealing with; and third, good understanding of the product. I really work hard on designing and packaging the (continued on page 2)
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