Donald Trump and Business: Should Sales Reps Aspire to Follow in His Footsteps?

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The Ultimate Infographic Guide to Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump and business go hand in hand. The Donald, no doubt, will go down in history as one of the most interesting and controversial business leaders of our time.

Donald Trump’s business exploits and now political aspirations, have made him a very polarizing figure. Specifically, in the world of sales, there is much debate as to whether his brash, take no prisoners approach is the best way to operate in the business world. Is that really the best way to move up the corporate ladder, close more deals and make the most money?

Let’s dive in and investigate further. Firstly, let’s take a look at Donald Trump’s life history, a pretty good place to start. This is an infographic from Business Insider that summarizes things nicely:


So what do you think? Donald Trump’s business career was certainly built upon an extraordinary upbringing, and help from his family. Is it logical for sales professionals to aspire and attempt to emulate someone who arguably had such a head start in life?  

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If you are still on the fence as to whether Donald is a business role model, let’s take a look now at his storied business career (both the good and the bad). International Business Degree Guide put together this infographic that summarizes the various business ventures he has been a part of since 1974.


So what do you think now? It’s clear that even with all his failures, Donald Trump has done very well in business and made an unfathomable amount of money. Does that make him worthy of being a role model for up and coming sales reps?  

Finally, let’s take a look at one last infographic by the National Federation of Independant Business. This ‘snakes and ladders’ image juxtaposes Trumps leadership style with those of two other famous leaders—Steve Jobs and Marissa Mayer.  
As a sales manager or aspiring sales leader, work your way through the image below.


How did things go? Did you find your sales leadership style contained a bit of Trump? Have you been persuaded that he makes a decent leader for sales professionals after all?

BONUS: Advice From The Donald

If you’re still sitting on the fence about Donald, let’s get even more specific: from his television show, to interviews, to books, The Donald is also famous for dolling out his advice. In his book “How to Get Rich” he lays out 14 Pieces of sales and business advice, the top five of which are summarized here:

  1. Work like a general—keep the big picture in mind when dealing with the details
  2. Stay focused on what actually makes you money—all else is irrelevant
  3. Maintain your momentum in business, or you will fall behind the curve
  4. Get a personal assistant who is good at his or her job
  5. Set a good example, because nobody will work harder than you do

So, as a sales rep do you think his advice is relevant and useful? Or is it full of superficial cliches from a bygone era? Are sayings like ‘nobody will work harder than you’ the most appropriate? Or sure the motto for today’s modern business executives be something more along the lines of, “work smarter, not harder?”

Whether Donald Trump is a role model or note is sure to be a divisive issue. Donald is one heck of a polarizing figure. Some people may not agree with his approach, while others will argue that the ends justify the means, when it comes to business and the success he has achieved.

We want to hear from sales reps, join in on this conversation online! Tweet at us @Ideal and let us know if you think Trump is a sales #Hero or #Huckster and whether you consider him a role model.

Are you looking for a job in sales? Browse open sales roles on Find your match and make more money.

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Tim Peters

Tim Peters

Vice President of Marketing at Ideal
As Vice President of Marketing, Tim holds responsibility for all aspects of the company’s marketing strategy and operations. In overseeing the marketing team, Tim leads the organization's candidate acquisition and demand generation efforts along with brand strategy, corporate messaging, advertising, content marketing, social media, and public relations initiatives. Outside of work Tim is an active community volunteer. He sits on the board and is currently Chair of Canadian Hero Fund, a registered charity that supports Canadian military families. Tim also enjoys training in Krav Maga martial arts and spending time at his family cottage in Northern Ontario. Tim holds an Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA) from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto.
Tim Peters