In light of Mr. Trump’s struggles over the last couple of weeks and his loss in Wisconsin it seems that his strategy of name calling and personal attacks is not working and a marketing strategist offers some timely advice for the GOP nominee and businesses struggling with strategic planning.
In an April 17, 2015 article, Entrepreneur.com quoted Bob Burg and John David Mann from their book, The Go-Giver in saying that, “All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust!”
“This philosophy applies not only to business but also applies to who people will follow and vote for as the best candidate in the GOP nomination, and General Election for POTUS”, says Robert Newhart Jr, a strategic marketing consultant in Raleigh, North Carolina who develops branding and positioning strategies for small businesses and nonprofit organizations across the Country. “Currently all things are not equal and Mr. Trump cannot win with his current strategy that lacks a coherent plan that most people in the USA can like and trust.”
According to Newhart Jr, a coherent strategic plan or policy is difficult because it forces the business leaders to not only visualize a clear outcome but share and be able to execute on that plan. “Relating back to the know, like and trust philosophy I mentioned earlier,” Newhart Jr postured, “All things are not equal in this GOP race as Mr. Trump is not a politician like his competitors, but he is a genius business man. He cannot be bought as he is using his own money to run and he promises to ‘Make America Great Again’ which his core followers are buying into. So he has an advantage in the ‘know’ as almost everyone knows of Donald Trump.”
According to Newhart Jr, most business owners struggle with and spend most of their time and money on this ‘know’ piece and not enough time on the like and trust. Newhart Jr explained. “A strategic plan needs to focus on all three phases of the know, like, trust philosophy if one is to be truly successful. Your plan must be resolute towards achieving your desired outcome, yet remain flexible so that when a strategy does not work you can shift quickly to try a different approach and keep moving forward. The worst thing we can do is to not adapt or do nothing.”
People already know Mr. Trump, they are desperately looking for ways to like him and trust him. Name-calling and generalities are not a solid strategy if he expects to win the GOP Nomination. “The worst possible thing you can do as a business owner or a person running for office is to stick to a plan that is not working,” Newhart Jr explains, “People expect leaders to have concrete plans and be able to communicate those plans as well as execute the plans. They will follow a leader that they can believe in who has their back (like) and feel they are going to follow through on what they said (trust).”
Newhart Jr advises Donald Trump with this, “Mr. Trump would be best served if he spent his time and money learning what his constituents want and then clearly lay out and communicate a strategic plan to deliver on that. Cut out the name calling and theatrics – No One Likes That. Focus on the outcome. It is no different in business, you cannot build a business on a product or service no one wants. You must deliver a product or service people want and need and then communicate in a way that will make people naturally like you and see you as the authority on that product/service so they have a high level of trust and are naturally attracted to your business to buy. Mr. Trump needs to get clear on this fast if he intends to win.”
Yet Newhart Jr concedes that most of the people he works with do not have a strategy either. “They have a mission and goals and a general idea of what they want to achieve but lack a strategic plan to get them there,” Newhart Jr says. “Many leaders are too focused on what the competition is doing and buried in little things that they forget about a strategic plan to deliver their products and services to the people who matter. That’s what I do is help them build a strategic plan and process to help increase their visibility, likeability, and respectability.”