Yes, like you, I have multiple opinions about whether Donald Trump is worth even a second of our consideration… but that is not what this post is about. I appreciate the video below for a number of reasons but in brief, here is why:
I have a real bee in bonnet about selling and the insanity in both the sales/marketing/branding profession and how we interact with it. Part of my focus on TinaOLife is to bring up this conversation again and again, calling out those of us in the sales and marketing industry to get better at what we do. In short, I’m asking if you are willing to fix something that is incredibly broken. We are indeed a blister in the sun. And something tells me we’re about to burst.
A lot of factors are contributing to the rise in popularity of Donald Trump as a contender for the Republican nomination, but I’m only going to address ONE of them – because it’s the one that makes me itchy. Yes I do squirm just a little bit, biting my cheek on the inside and jamming my toes into my shoes trying to keep from screaming. Bwahhhhh Grrrrrrahhhhhhhh!!!! It’s like I want to throw up violently but I can’t.
So I’m going stretch us a little k? I’m connecting the dots between sales, marketing, branding, message and our relentless chasing of the illusion of STATUS (and that’s all it is folks, an illusion).
We as sellers position ourselves and our message to you this way:
I know more than you.
I have more for you.
I sell more than anyone.
You want more.
I’ll give you more than anyone else can.
And then there’s the weird status thing we do around the pricing of our product, and the stories we make up to justify why people do or don’t buy our stuff:
When you say you can’t afford it – it’s not true.
When you say, I’m not sure yet – you’re just hiding.
When you say, I need time to think, – you’re making excuses.
Status. We have such a magnetic pull to it. We want it. You could say I’m doing it now by calling bullshit on sales tactics, and maybe I do. It’s still worth examining don’t you think?
Status. So then we decided that we live in an abundant universe, and that anything we want we can have simply by naming it, writing it down, and ultimately, manifesting it. Therefore, all of the customers who aren’t reaching our pricing structure are the ones who are living in a false reality. It’s their fault, they simply aren’t thinking abundantly enough.
I’m not saying that this perspective is all hooey, and that The Secret, Lisa Nichols, Jack Canfield and all the others are wrong – I’m adding to the equation another question which is: What kind of a charge (like an electric zap in the belly) do you get when you hold that perspective as true? Here’s what I mean:
Wouldn’t it be interesting to get to the place as a seller or a buyer where there is no ‘charge’ at all around a price. It’s neither expensive or inexpensive, it’s just a number. It either fits a budget or it doesn’t. It either matches the buyer/seller’s values or not. What if price wasn’t about STATUS at all? I wonder how much we would be willing to charge and/or pay.
Why am I here when I’m talking about Trump, marketing and selling?
Because money is LOADED with electric charges and then fueled by our stories.
Because how we price our products often informs how we sell, market, and brand them. Here’s a kicker, most products are sold at the price of ‘what the market will bare’.
Yet we are the market.
And we set it by what we’re willing to believe in.
Connect that back to Trump. What are we willing to believe in and why?
So let’s talk about honesty and marketing shall we? We’ve become so ‘skilled’ at positioning, so ‘smart’ at messaging, so ‘strategic’ with our choice of words, colours, audience, timing, logos, hooks, offers, calls to action, reach etc… that when somebody shows up like Trump, and just speaks ‘his truth’ – it staggers us for a second, and we’re drawn to it. It catches us off guard. And then when ‘his truth’ gets louder, with less restraint, and with more Alpha-Dog in him, it comes off kind of refreshing somehow because he’s cutting through the noise – never mind how costly his perspective may be (again, think back to pricing – same story).
We are all so EXHAUSTED from being sold to by slick campaigns with sensational promises that this guy, because he’s ‘not a politician’, because he’s ‘not packaged’, because he IS ‘impulsive’, because he DOES ‘show his true colours’, becomes appealing. This guy has STATUS because he’s being ‘himself’ and lots of people are gobbling it up.
Again, you may ask, what does this have to do with sales and marketing… well, it’s the underpinning of our mistrust because we simply can’t get away from it.
Here’s my suggestion: when people in sales, marketing and branding stop strategizing and start simply TELLING THE STORY of the PRODUCT or the STORY of their SERVICE – by SERVING THE STORY instead of the SALE, then we just may begin to trust voices of ‘reason’ again, and dudes like this won’t be given the time of day.
Imagine if we didn’t ‘sell’ being honest, we just were.
Imagine if we didn’t need to be ‘clever’ to attract an audience but instead, our straight goods became so crystal clear that the ‘right’ people could find us.
Imagine if sales people weren’t trained to overcome objections, if marketers weren’t taught how to ‘get inside the mind of consumer’, if branders didn’t ‘position’ the sale.
Imagine if the products we sold were good enough and our belief in them so deep and strong that we didn’t need to figure out the ‘formula’ to successfully sell them?
When we can all give up the insanity of trying to out play one another, perhaps bombastic, self-serving, opportunists like this guy, Mr. Trump, wouldn’t be so appealing. It’s not funny. It’s not entertaining. It’s not even scary (well, maybe it is), its really quite sad. Our culture has lost touch with it’s humanity, with our heart beat of being seen and known.
It’s time to be courageous, reclaim our power by being honest.
What do you say people in the sales, marketing and the branding industry… you with me? I’m not suggesting that we’re ultimately responsible for people like Trump getting to where he is, but I am suggesting that we’re part of the problem. The truth never needed to be clever. Good products never needed to be louder than everyone else, and consumers shouldn’t have to read between the lines in order to figure out if they can trust you and your brand or not.
Trump, with his blatant, boundary pushing and now rise to popularity is a lesson for all of us. He can cut through the noise because he’s just being him. Like him or not, he’s Trump and he’s pretty darn comfortable being that. If only we were too.
TinaO is a writer, speaker and the founder of TinaOLife – a hub for all things worth living for, the workshop Live Your Best Story, and her coaching practice: Tall Poppy Living. She’s also a professional network marketer with a decade in the industry. She teaches: selling isn’t slimey and marketing isn’t make-believe. You can be yourself and be successful in Direct Sales.