I’m working a commission based sales job. It isn’t precisely common retail either. I sell tours to Europeans, North Americans and Brazilians, although there are plenty of people from Asia, central america , and Eastern Europe who buy. I work for the biggest and most common tour company in the country, which means that the tours are over priced and nothing special. I’m also working at the store which sells less (I was transferred here to supposedly boost sales, since the store is struggling) so selling an overpriced product to people who aren’t really interested can be a bummer when it comes to wanting a juicy paycheck at the end of the month.
Comission based sales gigs are for people who work hard to make their own pay check. You slack off, you don’t sell, you don’t sell, you don’t make paper, and if you don’t make paper, congragulations, you’ve given 9 hours of your life a day to a job to make shit money.
So how do you go about selling an overpriced and frankly, unremarkable product to people who aren’t interested? Trump knows how.
This doesn’t mean I’m saying that Trump doesn’t have quality products and that his brand is worthless; What I mean that he understands that when it comes to sales, you have to pitch your product in a different way if it doesn’t make rational sense to consumers. Does deporting mexicans sound racist? if you take it at face value, it does (sort of). But Donald Trump will appeal to the emotions of the people, clearly exposing the problem and adding a sense of urgency to it; he can reframe an issue and point out its problems to make himself look like the provider of the solution. He appeals directly to emotions. He can sell unpopular concepts (that are by the way, true) by appealing to the base instincts of human beings (fear, wanting to be strong, wanting to be safe, wanting to thrive), without sounding gimmicky. Trump is masterful in his use of words and using his own image to sell an idea of strength, of victory, and of security.
How using this has helped me sell tours
The company I’m working for is the biggest in the country. Its tours are lackluster, but reliable. It’s overpriced, but its prestigious. When people are travelling, they want to see the best: the most amazing things they can so they feel like their vacations were worth it. They saved up money and they want to go back home with stories damn it! so when I sell the tours, I use the following strategy:
1-Form a bond with the prospect
People like to feel unique and understood. People are very wary of slimy sales tactics, which makes them doubly cautious when listening to people in uniform with tourist brochures in their hands. My advantage: Most people here speak shit english. I lived in Canada for 9 years, so my english is basically native sounding. Breaking this communication barrier with english speaking tourists makes them put their guard down, which leads to the next phase: Building a bond. Finding common ground (asking them where they’ve travelled and where they’re from) and establishing complicity becomes key. When I approach, I build a bond on common ground, reach the basis of a ‘friendship’ then start talking.
This takes me to phase number 2:
People are more likely to buy from you when they like you. This is 0bvious. This is when game becomes useful in everyday life, since the basis of game is creating a charismatic persona and engaging relationships out of thin air. In game, there is a clear goal: you either want digits, a make out, or sex. In sales, you want them to sign on the line that is dotted (persuading them to purchase what you’re selling).
To achieve this, you must first sell yourself, as persuading people to trust you and want to follow your lead is the most important part of the process. This is where Trump comes in. Trump paints pictures with his words, and masterfully so. After establishing rapport and getting some laughs from your prospects, you offer your products in a somewhat passing manner. I hand them the brochures, and use the talking points that could possibly make the company I work for look unique in my favour.
Words like prestigious, great, fantastic, amazing, wonderful, best, premium, excellent, all have very powerful pychological triggers. Trump is a master of this. When I talk about the same tours the competition does (at lower prices and same quality) I do the exact same as the Donald: I subtley activate their base emotions. Since my tour company is number one in the country, I make it a point to illustrate that its safe and trustworthy.
I paint the competition as unprofessional, or even dangerous, but NEVER in an obvious way. I sometimes talk about their shady return policies, their unprofessionality, and how unsafely they conduct their affairs. People have an irrational fear of these things when travelling, and when given the option, they will opt for safety to cheapness. The key is to first establish yourself as a friend, and that you’re not selling, but giving recommendations. Does this sound deceitful? maybe. But I tell the truth, the company is number one, but it’s not the best. The company is safe and quality, but dreadfully overpriced. Others also play this game, and worst, in real life and relationships (especially women).
Knowing who you’re selling to
Selling to Americans and Europeans is not the same as selling to Brazilians. Trump says in the Art of the Deal that it is absolutely vital to not deal with all people the same way. Brazilians are fun, outgoing people, but are notorious cheapskates who will hound you for a discount. If there are cheaper options out there they won’t care if you offer the safest product, they’ll go for it another anyway and seek out your competition. The way to deal with them is to be more aggressive. In this case, I offer discounts that already exist as if I’m doing them a favor. Building rapport, but then letting them know that you’re not supposed to give them a discount but you’ll do it anyway makes them feel like they’re playing you and cheating the system.
The truth is they’re playing right into your trap. If Brazilians feel like they’re getting a good deal, they won’t browse around to compare prices, but will buy from you right away. Using humor and relating to them by speaking loud and touching a lot usually gets the job done. This frightens most Europeans, especially those from countries like Germany.
Before he ran for president, there was little I thought I could learn from Trump. But when his advice and tactics turned out to have an actual practical use (in this case, making more money) I realize he is the real deal when it comes to deal making (see what I did there?).