Part 2: What Luxury Marketers Can Learn From President Trump

Back in January, I wrote about what luxury marketers can learn from President Donald Trump. After all, while the President may not be a run-of-the-mill billionaire, it is still an unusual opportunity to have Super Rich individual and his inner circle under such a continuous spotlight.

 

Among the points I made back then, pretty much all of them have been reaffirmed. For example, the Super Rich like to talk to decision makers directly. One only has to note the President’s direct dial diplomacy to see that he has little patience for highly orchestrated conversations meticulously planned by staff. Same goes for my point about loyalty.

 

With this in mind, here are some more ways you can use President Trump’s actions and put them to work in your dealings with UHNW customers and prospects:

 

  • It’s not about what you’re selling, it’s about what makes the customer happy

 

Examples of winning strategies go to Saudi Arabia and Israel. In both cases, they combined flattery with providing the customer an experience he enjoyed, think sword dancing and glowing globes. On the other hand, NATO made the President one of a group. Think of the video where President Trump was seemingly pushing past the Prime Minister of Montenegro to get to where he thought he should be, at the front. The point isn’t that all of the Super Rich are alpha males. The point is you are more likely to have a prospect in the buying mode when they feel comfortable and entertained.

 

  • Don’t count on gatekeepers to carry your water

 

The James Comey hearing shows that even powerful advisors and subordinates don’t necessarily want to push things when they think it goes against the UHNW’s wishes. Whether it’s self-preservation or other reasons, chances are you are going to have to close your deal. As I mentioned back in January, CEOs like to talk to CEOs which means to get the deal, having your owner or CEO ready to make the direct call to the prospect can often be a key to closing the deal. It’s a place the conglomerates sometimes lose out to smaller owner-operated firms. When selling to the Super Rich it helps if your CEO is a closer.

 

  • Don’t believe what you hear

 

While everyone has their opinions of the American President and this isn’t political, trying to understand where you stand is often hard, and the information you get is often misleading. As the former FBI Director noted, while there are some truths being published, they are published alongside fiction. Don’t spend time fretting about rumors around the water cooler. Do whatever you can to keep a 1-to-1 dialogue with the UHNW even if it with texts, or sharing some information you think he/she would be interested in, even if it’s not related to what you’re selling.

 

  • The Super Rich often give hints, not orders

 

One of the pleasant realizations about having a circle around you and lots of money, is you have other people to deliver bad news and push along unpopular agendas. What it means is when you are 1-on-1 with an UHNW they may not be direct in telling you what they want, but deal with inferences. Unless they are asking you to do something unethical or illegal, you should assume they want it done.

 

  • Be willing to make house calls

 

While luxury brands spend hundreds of millions of dollars on boutiques and luxury cathedrals in the most real estate around the world, many UHNW prefer house calls. We’ve seen how President Trump enjoys showing off both Mar-a-Lago and the White House to visitors. Never pass up an opportunity to visit an UHNW client or prospect, and when possible open the door. “I can come to your (office/home) if it’s more convenient.” In addition to providing the Super Rich with the benefit of saving their time, you create an opportunity to expose more of themselves to you, meet more of their staff, family members, relatives, and associates. You also get a first-hand look at their unique style and a bigger window into their passions and interests.

 

 

 

About Doug Gollan

I am Editor-in-Chief of Private Jet Card Comparisons and DG Amazing Experiences, and a Contributor to Forbes.com.
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