Since his YUGE campaign launched, I’ve been paying careful attention to Mr. Trump.
Despite all of the obvious backlash and his tendency to put his foot in other people’s mouths, all he does is win, win, win…
And like he has done with Jeb and every GOP candidate, I can see him easily dismantling Hillary (although that might not translate into swing votes).
With one of my political clients I’ve done a lot of work on The Donald, and I wanted to share with you five key lessons you can use from his winning formula:
1. Stay on point: He started clearly: “We don’t win anymore” and “Make America Great Again.” Then his message drifted, but after Iowa, in his closing remarks in New Hampshire he went right back to it—”If I am elected president we will win and we will win and we will win.” Who doesn’t want to win?
And just like Barack Obama, he doesn’t make the patently obvious mistake of thinking that elections are won on policy details…
Lesson 1: Know what leads you to win and stick to it.
2. Be more skilled: Fact is, it’s a game of influence and he’s better at it. Take Cruz, he’s incredibly eloquent but like Romney he fails to use language that GRABS people. If you go deep into what led Barack Obama to victory you see a highly methodical and skilled influencer, all the way down to the specific words he used in each district. Donald is a master wizard of manipulation: Short sentences. Powerful imagery. Emotionally provocative. He’s an expert at stealing attention (positive and negative) and using it to drive his message.
Not to mention, go back to that first question in the first debate and watch him annihilate with three words a question that would end most candidates.
Lesson 2: Know what skills lead you to win and master them!
3. Powerful messaging: The Donald is always optimistic all of the time. He doesn’t get dragged into problems but quickly moves to solutions using what I call The Donald Four-step: 1. State the problem: We don’t win anymore. 2. Go deeper into it: We don’t win in the military. 3. Get optimistic about the solution: We will support our troops and help them win. 4. Exit frame to how America will be great again.
And of course he constantly comes back to his programming anchors: “We Don’t Win Anymore,” “Make America Great Again,” and anything related to winning, like “We will have so much winning you may get bored of winning.” Contrast that to Hillary’s self-centered messaging: “I’m with her” and “Make Herstory.” Remember Dale Carnegie 101, appeal to self-interest…
Lesson 3: To lead, drive a powerful and seductive message.
4. Keep it real: Bernie Sanders got a lot of traction because we all feel the passion behind his wild ideas. With him and Trump you see people fighting for what they truly believe, and that’s infectious. Trump speaks his mind. He changes his opinions (like we all do). He says things many of us think but few say (e.g. we debate rights of terrorists while they behead). He’s able to sound more convincing making stuff up than others sound highly scripted (e.g. the border guard he spoke to…).
Not all good qualities for a president, but relative to the carefully scripted Washington-types you think you are seeing the real Donald.
Lesson 4: Be yourself and speak your truth.
5. Play the part: He might say things that are far from presidential, but watch him in the center of the stage, chin in the air, gripping the lectern, never looking sideways when his rivals are going after him, as if to say, I’m beyond this.
Wearing his customary scowl and smirk, he doesn’t look like a boy who has gotten his shot on the big stage trying to impress the audience, but a man who is there to speak his mind and win.
Lesson 5: Don’t just be yourself, be the version of you that wins!