In his interviews with the media and on his website, however, Trump didn’t offer many details about his positions on campaign topics. There were top-line statements and short paragraphs about the economy, national defense, energy and other areas, but a deep dive into the particulars wasn’t possible because the particulars weren’t provided.
The generality and ambiguity of Trump’s positions frustrated the media and his opponents. His supporters, on the other hand, saw it as exactly what they wanted — and Trump understood this. He saw, heard and read how his target buyers responded enthusiastically to the big picture pitches that he put forth.
Trump correctly deduced that detail-rich, wonky drill-downs into his ideas and solutions were neither necessary nor desired in order for his target audience to loudly sing his praises.
As a candidate, he gave his “clients” exactly what was required in order to sell and close them. The imprecision of his positions and platform represented an unusual, yet 100 percent effective, example of superb customer service.
3. Use facts and data.
A unique selling proposition (USP) helps a business stand out in the marketplace by explaining what makes it different and/or better than the competition. To be credible, a USP needs to be substantiated by case studies, testimonials and data points that offer overwhelming proof of the USP’s reliability.
In order to recruit lenders and investors for his real estate deals, Trump presents spreadsheets, projections, reports and analyses that support the USPs for his projects. But in his presidential campaign, he employed a different M.O.
The USP of Trump’s campaign was not typical but it was clear, concise and catchy: “We’re in trouble, folks, and I’m the only one who can make American great again!”
He never presented his target audience with the kind of factual USP validators he would have introduced in his business pursuits. Such detail wasn’t necessary to win voters over as committed customers.
4. Never, ever insult your competitors.
According to sales expert David Brock, insulting your competitors is “the single worst thing that a salesperson can do.” Not only will you shift the customer’s focus from you to your competitors, you’ll also lose your customers’ respect.
In the Republican primaries, Trump upended this established business wisdom by showing that insulting his competitors (fellow candidates) was the single best thing to do. He also showed that his customers (prospective voters) would embrace it.
Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie and John Kasich were all on the receiving end of Trump’s barbs, jabs and affronts. While the Republican establishment, the media and the candidates themselves cried foul, Trump didn’t let up. And the more he piled on, the more fans (and committed buyers) he gained.
Trump was able to disregard these four tenets of sales and marketing because he knew the voters he was targeting were tired of being wooed and campaigned to in a typical way. These voters instead connected with the energy and emotion of Trump’s boisterous message.