Ten tips to trump your rivals from Donald Trump
The finest nuggets from The Donald on how to do deals
Donald Trump is worth just over $7 billion - although nearly half of it, he says, is due to the “brand value” of his name.
As any of Trump’s Twitter followers would know, he has a lot to say. He could fill a book with his Trumpisms… and he has.
He has filled over 20 books with his thoughts. Surely he must run out of things to say?
We delved into his first work from 1987 - The Art of the Deal - by the “young, brash billionaire” so you can learn how to go places like “America’s hottest and most enterprising billionaire did”.
How young? Well this is Trump from 1988 - in all his cherubic cuteness.
1. Aim high, really high
You don’t get the sort of things Trump does if you don’t ask.
As he says, “I aim very high and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after”.
The results? “In most cases I still end up with what I want.”
It seems Trump carries the same pushy attitude outside the boardroom too, having declared in the early ’90s that he would ask women to be tested by his personal doctor before he “got serious” with them.
2. Sell to the guy at the top
Trying to make a deal? Don’t be fobbed off with some flunkie, gun for the guy at the very top!
As Trump advises:
“Everyone underneath the top guy in a company is just an employee. An employee isn’t going to fight for your deal, he’s fighting for his salary increase, or his Christmas bonus, and the last thing he wants to do is upset his boss.”
3. Be strong
The thrust of his message for business people locked in negotiation is simple:
Don’t look like you’re gagging for it.
“The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it”.
Instead, Trump recommends you “deal from strength”. That strength? All down to leverage - making the other guy feel, through your “imagination and salesmanship” that it’s “in his interest to make the deal”.
4. Expect the worst and get the best
Trump isn’t a head-in-the-clouds happy-go-lucky sort of guy. He’s a real conservative sort.
“I always go into the deal anticipating the worst. If you plan for the worst - if you can live with the worst - the good will always take care of itself.”
“I’ve never gambled in my life. To me, a gambler is someone who plays slot machines. I prefer to own slot machines”
5. Sell it as the best, even if it is not
Trump’s major thing is property. And his approach? He doesn’t preach the “location, location, location” mantra.
“You don’t necessarily need the best location”, he says.
“What you need is the best deal… you can enhance a location through promotion and psychology.”
He also issues a stern warning, don’t go spending top dollar to buy the best location. “You can get killed for doing that!”
The lesson? Don’t pay too much for an opportunity, look at how you can best improve it.
6. Get known. Make waves
“If you are a little different or a little outrageous…the press is going to write about you.”
That is a lesson Trump has demonstrated in spades later in life, when he developed his panache for conspiracy theories and calling for revolutions and marches on Washington DC.
7. Fight your corner
When the going gets tough, be prepared to have it out with people.
Trump adds a quick disclaimer - “I certainly don’t recommend this approach to everyone.”
However, his point still stands for those who want to “fight for something you believe in”.
You may alienate people in the process, but Trump insists that “things usually work out for the best in the end”.
8. Control costs
Watch the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
Or in Trump’s case, watch the thousands and the millions will look after themselves.
He’s happy to give a contractor the hairdryer treatment over a $5,000/$10,000 overspend on a project, which he describes as a “few bucks”.
Trump is a thrifty man, a bit of an entrepreneurial Scrooge.
“The day I can’t pick up the telephone and make a twenty-five-cent call to save $10,000 is the day I’m going to close up shop.”
9. Be a straight-talker
Don’t bullshit, as Donald Trump would say.
“You can’t con people, at least not for long….if you don’t deliever the goods, people will eventually catch on.”
The same applies for his dealings with reporters, with Trump advising against trying to “deceive them or be defensive, because those are precisely the ways most people get found out.”
10. Have fun
Business? It’s all a game for Trump!
Money? It’s just a “way to keep score”.
With this in mind, Trump is keen to get across that you shouldn’t take what happens too seriously.
After all, “life is very fragile and success doesn’t change that. If anything, success makes it more fragile”.