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What I learned from Ivanka Trump

by Meredith Bell

I recently had the opportunity to meet Ivanka Trump and hear her speak at a conference in Chicago. Ivanka is the daughter of Donald Trump and runs the real estate development and acquisitions division at the Trump Organization. 

With her father's wealth and celebrity status, you might assume that Ivanka has an entitlement mentality and is spoiled. But you'd be wrong.

Ivanka only gets to fly in the corporate jet if her father happens to be traveling to the same destination. Otherwise, she flies coach like the rest of us. She's also under constant pressure to produce results. If she doesn't, she knows her father will fire her as quickly as he would one of the apprentices on the TV show.

Ivanka Trump and Meredith Bell

Ivanka is a savvy, hard-working business executive. She recently spent a year building anticipation for a major product launch - a hotel/condo building in Hawaii. As a result of her brilliant marketing strategies, she set a world record by selling 464 residential units for $729 million in just 6 hours!

A key to Ivanka's success is the way she creates and builds relationships. She doesn't rely on "the Donald" to introduce her to executives she wants to meet. Instead, she tears out magazine and newspaper articles that would be of interest to someone she wants a relationship with, and she sends it with a personal note - a technique she learned from her father. Sometimes she simply sends a hand-written note to introduce herself.
Ivanka consistently gets a positive response when using this approach. She's had people call to set up appointments within minutes of receiving one of her notes. For her, it's all about building a strong reputation and long-term business relationships.

So here's the Speed Tip for this issue.
Be on the lookout for ways to connect with the people you want to know.

To help you make the contacts that can help your career:

  1. Make a list of the people you want to meet who can make a difference in your professional life.
  2. Find out what their interests are by learning everything you can about them through online and offline sources.
  3. Scan for articles that relate to their interests. When you find one, send the article with a personal note. People rarely receive hand-written notes anymore, so they will notice and read yours.
  4. If they don't contact you, follow up with a phone call. You can be sure they'll remember your thoughtful gesture and will accept your call.

The key to any business relationship is making a positive first impression and taking a sincere interest in the other person. If you take Ivanka's approach, you're likely to see some great results!


Copyright © 2009 Meredith M. Bell
Meredith Bell is "Your Voice of Encouragement" and president of Performance Support Systems. Millions of participants worldwide have used 20/20 Insight, an onsite survey and development system that helps people become stronger for life and work. More free articles and videos at or