David Ogilvy's Selling Hacks

If you have heard the name David Ogilvy then you know what it means to create advertisements that stand the test of time.  Founder of one of the biggest ad agencies, Ogilvy & Mather, popularly known as O&M, he is rightly known as the father of advertising. There are some selling hacks from David Ogilvy that have resulted in some of the most effective ads. Copies such as “Only Dove is one-fourth moisturising cream” captured the imagination of many skincare enthusiasts. This line was used in every country where Dove is sold, including India. It wasn’t an ad campaign that lasted for a brief period. It was first used in 1952!

So, what makes Ogilvy’s copies sell products? What makes marketing managers with expensive MBAs from universities such as Harvard and Carnegie Mellon say “You know what, we will stick to Ogilvy’s line” for several decades? Ogilvy had a set of rules to communicate with his intended audience. He didn’t come up with his copies over a few minutes and a cup of coffee. Curious to know what his methods were to successfully sell ANY product?

Direct Selling is all about speaking their language

Advertising, marketing, or direct selling, there are certain common ground rules that apply to all these departments within a company. Just remember this golden quote before you learn and practice his rules:

“Advertising is not an art form, it’s a medium for information, a message with a single purpose: to sell.”

The key phrase here is ‘not an art form’. It’s time-tested and battle-hardened science. Without further ado, let’s find out how you can become a master seller.

Selling Hacks From David Ogilvy –  Hack #1: A Set of Adjectives Never Sold a Product

Selling Hacks From David Ogilvy

When you interact with your prospects, don’t use beautifying or flowery language. “Oh! This is the most amazing product I have ever used” Trying saying this and watch them shut down within a blink of an eye. Rather, focus on benefits. Think of an idea that will make their lives better.  It could be as simple as “BioSilver 22 Gel won’t cause skin dryness unlike other sanitisers”

Selling Hacks From David Ogilvy – Hack #2: Target the Right Prospects

Advertising is not an art. It's a platform for communication

This might sound obvious but this is something most sellers miss out.  Are you wasting your time and energy by trying to sell Nutriplus Kids Protein Power to a gym going muscular guy who takes protein supplements suggested by his trainer? Try as you might, but your words will fall on deaf ears. It’s a reality we must accept. Not all our products are for everyone. How about housewives who struggle to get their kids eat the right food? You will sell in a jiffy.

Selling Hacks From David Ogilvy – Hack #3: Understand Your Prospect

Sounds like the previous point? Maybe you are right. May be not. Understanding what they want is one thing. Understanding their buying behaviour is completely different. Sometimes, what they want and what they need can be completely different. They might want a great looking world-class watch that sets them apart from the crowd. However, upon closer observation, they could only go for popular brands they want to associate themselves with. Then you have another more sensible set – the ones that want the same quality and build as any Swiss watch without being too fussy or brand-conscious. Whom will you target with your CHAIROS pitch?

Selling Hacks From David Ogilvy Hack #4: Know About the Product in Detail

Direct selling techniques QNET

Another obvious point most sellers should focus but often miss out. Your prospects will need all the information before they can shell out their money. It’s not enough if you say Nutriplus DiabaHealth will help control their blood sugar levels. You need to gain their trust by demonstrating a degree of expertise. Talk to them about the ingredients and how they are scientifically proven to act on the human body.

Selling Hacks From David Ogilvy – Hack #5: Talk to Them in Their Language

This is related in a way to the previous point. While it’s important to proactively give all the information and be prepared for any further queries they might have, it’s very important to avoid technical terms and jargons. Agreed, you will come across the occasional nerd. However, it’s extremely important to communicate in simple and direct terms. There’s a fine balance between giving all the information about a product and keeping it uncomplicated.

Selling Hacks From David Ogilvy – Hack #6: In Advertising It’s Known as Headlines. In Direct Selling, It’s the First Few Words

Selling Hacks by David Ogilvy

As a modern consumer of ads, you know very well the importance of headlines. In fact, copywriters spend more time writing the right headline than they do writing the body copy. As a direct seller, your approach shouldn’t be any different. Come up with a script (don’t sound scripty though) for every product in your own way. A good initial impact goes a long way in making a successful sale.

Selling Hacks From David Ogilvy – Hack #7: Project the Product

Here’s the most important part of the selling process. Ask yourself “Why Am I excited to use this product?” The plain reality is unless you are genuinely interested and believe in the benefits a product can offer, you simply cannot sell it. In fact, by going through this exercise, you can actually cover some of the other points, to an extent.

Some Interesting Ogilvy Quotes:

David Ogilvy Quotes

“When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

“Never use tricky or irrelevant headlines… People read too fast to figure out what you are trying to say.”

“Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating. You know you can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it”

“If you have a truly big idea, the wrong technique won’t kill it. And if you don’t have a big idea, the right technique won’t help you”

Now, you are all set to practice these steps in your everyday selling process. Don’t forget to share this with other QNET distributors and they will surely thank you! You could also visit other links such as how to generate more leads and other articles to enhance your selling skills.