6 Business Lessons From My Helicopter Ride With Eric Trump
It’s not every day that you get to sit down with the Vice President of Development and Acquisitions at the Trump Organization, or with any one of the infamous members of the business-savvy Trump family. But this is exactly what I did when I got the rare opportunity to sit down with the youngest Trump son, Eric. In fact, the opportunity was so rare that we weren’t even technically sitting down. Our talk took place in a helicopter — one with Eric’s family name embossed on the side — and our discussion unfolded as we made our way down to the Trump Wineries in Charlottesville, Virginia.
During our ride, I was able to get inside the head of one most successful and recognized real estate developers today. While I came away with a better understanding of the man at the forefront of The Apprentice and some of the biggest Trump projects around the globe, I also came away with six surprising business insights that helped grow the wildly successful Trump name:
#1: Internet Marketing and SEO Are Not Just for Startups
With many startups turning to Internet marketing initiatives and SEO, it is hard to imagine that moguls like Eric Trump would need an understanding of these mechanisms. However, Eric Trump was just as aware of the importance of these tools as any business owner would be. The powerful Trump brand always uses the highest quality processes and systems in Internet marketing to make sure all of their hotels and golf courses rank in the top spot for their market in search engine results. The Trump brand even takes their efforts a step further to make sure that they not only geo-rank but that they rank for related search terms in their market too.
#2: Dominance Is Key in Developing the Trump Brand Identity
Trump is a top brand, and they appear at the top in whatever market or niche they serve, including search rankings. In fact, a driving force in this preeminence is that they do not enter a niche or market unless they are certain they can dominate it. Everything the Trump brand does is backed by the idea that Trump is number one, and Eric and the executives at Trump make certain that notion resonates in all of their endeavors.
#3: Sometimes Not Closing a Deal Isn’t a Bad Thing
After being in sales for most of my life, I still cringe at the frustration experienced over having a well-prepared deal fall apart at the last second. While it may seem as though Eric Trump has never faced a deal he couldn’t close, he spoke of the importance of understanding when deals are lost. The reality is that if a deal is meant to be, it’s meant to be. If you are getting every deal you propose, your terms are likely not that great if no one can turn you down. You will be rejected from time to time, but you should always be ready for clients to return. Plus, you never know when they will be back at your table, so it’s important not to burn bridges with potential clients.
#4: You Can’t Make It Big Until You Dream Big
If there is one word that can describe the Trump brand, “big” would suffice. With so many Internet entrepreneurs thinking small and setting modest goals, the reality is that you have to think big in order to make it big. Billion-dollar organizations like the Trump Organization use strategic Internet marketing services. There are huge clients that are looking for the same services that many small companies provide. Eric showed me that the Trump Organization made it to where it is today — and continues to stay on top — by always thinking big. Thinking small is just a waste of time.
#5: Sometimes Success Means Getting Your Hands a Little Dirty
A two-day visit to the Trump Vineyards of Charlottesville was a long departure from the pristine Trump Buildings in New York City. The daily operations of the vineyards requires much more hard, hands-on work and is far less glamorous than sitting in a corner office on top of a skyscraper, but it is worth it. The Trump Brand carries a tremendous weight in our world today and, as Eric pointed out, a multifaceted brand needs all of its parts to be successful in order to reach its full potential.
#6: No Detail Is Ever Too Small
If there is one thing that sets the Trump brand name apart and what makes them the untouchable company they are today, it is their dedication to their mission. As Eric Trump showed me through our work at the Trump Vineyards, no detail is too small. He and his team meticulously went through every detail in the vineyard, taking the time to deliberate over light switch covers, to make sure everything was perfect. The same care was taken in picking the staff, as these are the individuals responsible for providing the outstanding service the Trump brand is known for. The attention to detail shown by Eric Trump was something truly out of this world, but through the simple act of watching one of the world’s most successful real estate moguls choose a light switch cover, you can see why there is no brand in the world that can touch the power of Trump.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
Top Internet marketing coach and president of RCBryan & Associates, Roger Bryan has built several multi-million dollar companies. He has worked with Eric Trump, Brett Michaels and Steve Wozniak, and has been seen in CBS News, Yahoo News and many others. His startups have been on the Inc. Magazine list of the fastest growing companies in America. He sits on the board of directors of Top One Coaching.