Inside the Trump University Sales Playbook
Judge overseeing legal case unseals a 48-page document.
— -- It sounds like a sales pitch straight out of a boiler room.
“How would you like to work with Donald Trump’s Real Estate Experts? This is not something we offer to just anyone...”
Pitchmen for the now-defunct Trump University were given talking points for potential customers that flaunted Donald Trump’s name: “You know who my boss is right? Mr. Trump is on a mission to create the next wave of independently wealthy entrepreneurs in America.”
The language is contained in a 48-page document made public today in San Diego that is evidence in a California class-action lawsuit where plaintiffs have accused Trump University of being a sham. They claim it’s the script of an alleged fraud.
The document and several others were ordered unsealed by the judge overseeing the case despite opposition from Trump himself whose lawyers had argued that the playbooks contained trade secrets. “The judge has been very unfair and has not done a good job,” Trump said today during a news conference in New York.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel ordered these new Trump University documents to be released by Thursday, June 2 in response to a request by the Washington Post.
The documents released today offer a behind the scenes look at how Trump University was marketed. Plaintiffs say they were wooed to the school under false pretenses. The Attorney General of New York has filed a similar lawsuit.
In court papers and on the campaign trail, Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations in the lawsuits.
"It’s a very small case ... it’s not a big deal and I will win it in court," Trump has said of the New York case.
The pitch from the Trump University Sales Playbook made sure to make potential customers feel special, according to the documents.
“This is not something we offer to just anyone. We don’t want to work with just anyone," it reads. "You know who my boss is right? Mr. Trump is on a mission to create the next wave of independently wealthy entrepreneurs in America. Is that YOU?”
The script noted that many of the potential customers will be concerned about how much money this would cost them. Enrollment counselors were instructed to tell them that "most students use established lines of credit, like a credit card ... to handle their tuition fees" and add "keep in mind you'll be working with our experts to become profitable in the shortest amount of time."
The enrollment counselors were also given an internal memo that said, "Although we don't expect any major downturn in the marketplace, it's likely that real estate's overall performance will be more modest in 2007."
The documents get quite specific detailing the music, room temperature, even the type of tablecloths that should be on display during the seminars. The O’Jays “Money, Money, Money” should play during the introduction, the room should be no more than 68 degrees, table banners should be “ironed and straight,” and “No candy should ever be on tables!,” the playbook reads.
There is also some guidelines for recruiters with the playbook warning “do not judge on appearance.”
“While dress and jewelry can be an indicator of affluence it is not always a foolproof one,” the document reads. “Conversely, some people dress very nicely but don’t have a spare dime."
The playbook makes it clear how the real estate mogul was to be mentioned as part of the pitch. One page of the document answers the question, “Who is Donald Trump?” listing key facts about Trump, his portfolio of properties, projects under development and even his education history.