Tuesday, 9 December 2014

What can the original Mad Man teach us today?


Best known for his advertising prowess, Ogilvy was an advertising executive who was widely held as ‘the father of modern advertising.’ In fact Ogilvy started in sales before he went into advertising. His sales advice still holds true today, even in this age of social media and digital sales.

1.      “Find out all you can about your prospects before you call them; their general living conditions, wealth, profession, hobbies, friends, and so on. Every hour spent in this kind of research will help you impress your prospect” – David Ogilvy

We all receive cold calls and unsolicited email from salespeople who know nothing of our businesses or our needs. Why because in todays digital age it is all to easy to build or buy lists of numbers and addresses and fire off calls and emails at random, a conversion of one in a thousand is more then enough to turn a profit with this vast volume of data. It is cheap fast and nasty, it requires no real work or understanding on the part of the sales team.

Yet if you take time to understand your prospects, get to know them get to know their businesses, they will remember you and what you can do for them. After a while they will begin to contact you. 


2.    Foster any attempt to talk about other things; the longer you stay the better you get to know the prospect, and the more you will be trusted. Pretend to be vastly interested in any subject the prospect shows an interest in. – David Ogilvy

Social media and email marketing is a good way to keep in touch with family and friends, but to a business you can rapidly become little more than an annoyance that clutters up peoples inbox, the irritation that stops them doing what they should be doing. Even then are you reaching a decision maker or are you just going strait into the trash via the spam filter. Without feed back you will never know!

This is where your networking comes into play, get out there get your face and your business known, this does not work so well siting behind a computer. You can twitter and tweet all you are worth, it is the salesperson sitting in the office chatting about the weather, football and babies, that gets the sale. They are there you are not.

3.    The More prospects you talk to, the more sales you expose yourself to, the more orders you will get. But never mistake a quantity of calls for quality of salesmanship.” – David Ogilvy

This is where CRM software call and email lists break down. It has never been about volume, never about numbers, it is all about the quality of the information you collect. It is easy to dismiss a prospect, to shun someone as beneath your interest, that they will never buy from you. Yet their brother, sister neighbour maybe just the prospect that you are looking for. What will they say when asked “Oh have you ever met…?”

Get to know the people who you are dealing with, know and care about them. They are your customers they pay your wages, treat them with the respect that they deserve. The old adage that 'people buy from people' may not be true anymore in this digital age. Rephrase that to read that 'people buy from people whom they trust' would be more true to day. Earn peoples trust, give them reasons to buy from you.

4.     “Selling does not materially differ from military campaigning, and we may analyse it under two main headings, ATTACK and DEFENCE.“ – David Ogilvy

Ogilvy recommended a combination of attacks (delivery of content) and defences (responses to objections). He stressed the importance of always being on the attack while swiftly countering objections. 

Your advertising and marketing campaigns come in to play here. They should have laid the ground work, have built up the reputation of your business and brand. Half you work is already done when a potential customer responds to your advertising and calls you. All you have to do then is close the sale. 

Advertising is such a key element of the sales process that David Ogilvy himself went on to become the original Mad Man of madison ave.


So talk to your Local advertising agency. We are there to help you get the most out of your advertising and marketing budgets. Call us today and see how we can help you get the processes in place, to maximise your sales potential.

Gavin Bryan-Tansley - Owner Vid-FX+ advertising

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