I just finished reading a fascinating book, Win Bigly,
by Scott Adams. For those of you who read the daily comic strips, you’ll recognize Adams as the Dilbert cartoonist. If I haven’t lost you yet, guess who the book is about? President Trump.
Adams, a self-proclaimed ultra-liberal, was in a very tiny group that predicted Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. He says he took a lot of heat and abuse, especially from his liberal neighbors in California.
I would highly recommend the book, which was very entertaining, but not for that reason. Adams, who would say he’s a persuader as much as a writer, refers to President Trump as the Master Persuader — and possibly one of the best in human history. Reading along as Adams makes his case, it dawned on me that he’s describing the best marketing/new business/Hunters I’ve ever known.
As you read the book, assume you have two products to choose from: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Which would you buy? The choice has almost nothing to do with their positions/platforms. Now, I’m sure I’ve offended many of you, but I suggest that you read Win Bigly as a “How to win that next big customer” playbook.
Here are a few of Adams’ observations:
- Trump is the most persuasive human he has ever observed. (Editorial comment: Keep in mind that Adams vehemently disagrees with most, if not all, of President Trump’s positions.)
- When they were done criticizing Trump for the “error” of saying he would build one big solid “wall,” the critics had convinced themselves that border security was a higher priority than they had thought coming into the conversation. The reason the wall imagery was good persuasion is that it was both simple to understand and memorable.
- A big opening demand in a negotiation will form a mental anchor that will bias negotiations toward that high offer.
- Humans think they’re rational, and they think they understand their reality. But they’re wrong on both counts. The main theme of this book is that humans are not rational.
- Humans literally make decisions first and then create elaborate rationalizations for them after the fact.
- Trump is so persuasive, policies don’t matter. People voted for him even though his policies were murky and changing.
- Visual persuasion is stronger than oral persuasion. Trump always paid attention to the colors and symbols associated with his brand — his shirt was always white and his tie colors were always from the American flag.
- What you might not realize is that each of us is “marketing” all the time. (Editorial comment: For those of you who know me well, you know I struggle with “business casual” dress. Show me a great new business developer and I bet they look sharp.)
- If you want to make a good first impression, don’t jokingly complain about the traffic on the way over. Try to work into the initial conversation some positive thoughts and images. (Editorial comment: People love to be around the “sharp” new business developer because they always share a positive, uplifting, inspiring story.)
My challenge to you is:
- After reading the book, evaluate your sales process, including handouts and pitch.
- Is it a bunch of facts and details?
- Does it appeal to your customers’ emotions? Is there a WOW factor?
- Would you buy anything from you?
- Do people like being around you or do they hide when they see you coming?
I would love for you to send me stories of instances where your company has applied the principles in Win Bigly and has won new business.