Barbara Corcoran on Donald Trump: 'He is the best salesman I've ever met in my life'

  • Trump is a "phenomenal salesman," according to investor Barbara Corcoran, who spoke to Business Insider about the US president at Ignition 2018.
  • Corcoran first knew Donald Trump as a salesman during his New York real estate days.
  • She explained how Trump was nearly bankrupt when he sold the land along the West Side Highway to develop what now includes Trump Place apartments and condos.
  • Watch the video above to learn the sales techniques Trump uses that makes him the "best salesman" Corcoran has ever met.

Julie Zeveloff: Switching gears for a moment. You knew Donald Trump way back in his New York real estate days.

Barbara Corcoran: What a charmer.

Zeveloff: You know, despite whatever you say about him, even you say he's a great salesman. What is his sales technique? Why is he so great?

Corcoran: He is a phenomenal salesman. He's not a great salesman. He's probably the best salesman I've ever been in the company of and I spent a lot of time with Donald because he's five years older than me, I think, four years and he was raising his company right parallel with me raising mine. And so, I did a lot of work with Donald and I can tell you he is the best salesman I've ever met in my life.

I watched him walk into a situation, for example, selling the Plaza Hotel to the Chinese out of Hong Kong, it wasn't Taiwan. Group of Asians, wealthiest families in Hong Kong. And they were there because they were interested in the Plaza Hotel. I was a broker. All my brokers, we were all at the table. We were really hungry to make this deal and I watched him totally not pitch the Plaza Hotel. Bury it and talk about the land masses on the Hudson River and the buildings that would be there. They were not the least bit interested. They just wanted to buy the Plaza Hotel. A customer, I wanna buy it and Donald was near bankruptcy, really needed the money to bail out. And I watched him... I thought he was so off. He wasn't. They bought the land and built all those towers on the west river as we know it today. You know, all those Trump Towers along the river, that was the deal. How did he do that?

I'll tell you what his masterful mind does. He is a genius at picking out the vulnerability of someone's personality. He can smell it. Sense it and trust it. So, for example, if you were to walk into a business meeting with Donald and you were saying, whatever you're saying. I've seen it time-and-time again. He could see what your weakness is and not physically reach over and put his finger on it, but he just could see what your weakness is and play into it. Not the nicest thing in the world but it's a certain gift I've never seen on anyone else. That's exactly what he did in the election. I think he put his finger on what the weakness was, the vulnerability of people and he knows how to touch it. Just so. And people go along for the ride.

He is a phenomenal salesman, I have to say. Really. He could sell anything. And he did.

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