MAKE ENTREPRENEURS GREAT AGAIN!
Using Trumps’ campaign to Upscale your skills as an entrepreneur.
Donald Trump has made the headlines throughout the whole US presidential elections, yet he is now where he was not expected to arrive. The good news is, Trump’s campaign can teach us various ways to upscale our skills as entrepreneurs. Here is an overview.
At first a politically incorrect outsider, Donald Trump has eventually surprised the world with a fantastically simple moto: Make America Great Again. This slogan not only had an effect on the people, it impacted all the layers of the society. The working class saw an opportunity to be represented by an unconventional leader far from the political establishment, while the business community saw a chance to be led by a successful businessman possibly capable of making entrepreneurs great again!
This is not to say that Trump is a political model and my purpose is certainly not to associate myself with the man’s ideas and political convictions. Far from this, in fact. Still, from a strictly analytical point of view, the strategy is worth thinking about.
‘Making America great again’ was a simple and efficient message, a comforting butter cookie that goes straight to the mind and catches the reptilian brain – excitement grows, your heart and breathing work faster, your body temperature raises. In short, you can’t resist it. So, Trump is the butter cookie that reminds the American people of the old good days. What a lesson for statisticians, politicians, fortune tellers, marketers … and entrepreneurs!
Now, let’s take action and replicate Mister T[rump]’s logic with our clients. Beyond the oven and the cakes, there is a recipe. Become trusted catalysts and adapt our message to what our clients need to hear, connect with them as with a community of voters, run our campaigns as a marathon … and sprint when reaching the finish line!
Becoming a trusted catalyst: adapting our message to what our clients need to hear
Be positive, be accessible, be the one who says what the other needs to hear.
Mister T. knew what difficulties his electors faced and just focused on finding obvious ways to fix the issues. Fear of the stranger? Let’s ban strangers! Mexican immigration? Let’s make a wall! Correct? Not the point here. Basic? Well, yes. But at least the message is easy to remember and discuss around a bottle of Dr Pepper or a couple of pints of beer. Plus, it makes people talk about the message.So how can we use this approach to address our customers’ problems and help them understand how efficient our own solution/ product/ service is? First, by taking our clients by the hand. Let’s take the example of an insurance broker. Can he promise you will never have an accident? Of course not, but he is totally legitimate in saying that he will be there to accompany you the day you have a heart attack or an accident.
Second, by telling our client what they need to hear more than what they want to hear. In saying what the client wants to hear, we send the message that we want to make a sale. In talking about their needs, we demonstrate our ability to understand and anticipate the client’s reality. Don’t just sell, become a trusted advisor.
Emotionally connect our client to our broader picture… and community
Emotions and fears always come first when it comes to taking a decision.
The sense of the Republican ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan was to target the emotions (and/or fears) of the ‘forgotten man’ to let him identify a broader environment and join the community. In other words, emotionally connecting voters to the community is the starting point to answering their needs and this approach can definitely be adapted to our ‘how to retain customers’ strategy.
First, more than creating a tracking record for scale marketing, branding and sales, giving our clients a place within our broader picture helps creating an emotional connection – the role of the reptilian brain – with our trusted advisor’s activity. Thus, we can solve fears and needs or use emotions to our advantage to make them say ‘yes, he talks about problems I need to solve. Yes, he can help me achieve my goals’.
Second, involving our clients into our community will also picture us as trusted catalysts. Many businesses rely on events to showcase their expertise when they should build a community to become connectors. However, event participants are passive. They attend, watch, listen as if attending a spectacle. Community’s members are rather active. They become stakeholders, they interact naturally, in a proactive and dynamic way, because they are emotionally connected to a cause. In short, connect, connect, and connect.
Run a marathon but preserve our ability to sprint
Finally, political life like entrepreneurship is about marathon and timely sprinting.
On the one hand, Mister T. followed a line, had the support of an enthusiastic family, attended overcrowded meetings with passion, endless vigour, if not fury. On the other, Hillary had a message to pass on all along and the highest profiles backing her, but in the very end she looked tired, as if in difficulty to follow Trump’s never-stopping rhythm.
This difference tells us a lesson: a project, however big, requires training and a strong roadmap to follow, day after day. Ask yourself. What could happen to an entrepreneur incapable of planning, testing and measuring his ‘best’ tactics on the long term? Would he achieve the best or, most likely, loose slowly his energy and let competitors take the lead at the last minute, when the final decision is being made? Life is a marathon. Be resilient, but never forget that the last meters are always about sprinting.
Again, political correctness and personal beliefs set aside, the man worked his way through things and we can surely learn something out of it.
Take action! Become a trusted catalyst to the community and adapt our messages to what our clients need to hear, connect with our clients as a community of voters, run our campaigns as marathons … and be ready to sprint when reaching the finish line!
Business Coach & Adviser for BUSINESS TALENTS
This opinion was drafted following a discussion with Dr Antoine MARTIN, I am thankful for his time and feedback.