LEARNED SO FAR
EXCERPTS ABOUT SALES FROM CONTEST PARTICIPANTS
DAVID OGILVY KNEW THE
IMPORTANCE OF SELLING.
His oft-quoted mantra “We sell, or else” cuts to the
heart of the purpose of advertising. But what does
salesmanship look like in the digital age? Where does
proven wisdom marry with new tools and platforms?
OgilvyOne wants to find out and, at the same time,
reinvigorate the noble art of selling. So the agency
launched a competition on YouTube to find the World’s
Greatest Salesperson. The three finalists will compete
on stage on June 21, 2010 at the Cannes Lions Inter-
national Advertising Festival.
FOLLOW THE EFFORT ON TWITTER @SELL_OR_ELSE
FROM THE ESSAYS
“SALES IS CRUCIAL TO OUR CLIENTS BUT HOW WE SELL HAS CHANGED.
WHAT DOES SELLING LOOK LIKE IN THE 21ST CENTURY?”
SELLING HAS COME
M AKE A GRAND CLAIM TODAY AND ‘JANE SEARCHER’ WILL BE ON GOOGLE TO
CHECK IT OUT. SHE’LL ASK HER FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER ABOUT
IT. WATCH VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE TO SEE IF ‘AMAZING WIDGET’ IS WHAT THEY SAY IT
IS. THE WORLD HAS COME FULL CIRCLE. WE’VE RE-ESTABLISHED TRIBES. THEY JUST
LOOK A BIT DIFFERENT NOW.
But the end result of this re-organization is the power has been placed squarely back into the hands of the
people. A small one-man shop in Topeka Kansas that engages the online community, listens and builds
relationships can now compete with the ‘big boys’.
SO, HOW HAS SELLING CHANGED?
Selling has returned the power to the person with a great product, great relationships and ability to
communicate their benefits to the tribe. Selling has once again become more of a human experience. The
skills of pushing the right psychological triggers and emotional hot buttons are still relevant and extremely
useful. But only if value is being delivered.Without it, you’ll simply be ‘drawn and quartered’ online.
Finalist: Todd Herman, Edmonton, Canada
“ Selling in the 21st century looks like the custom car workshop
on MTV’s “Pimp My Ride.”
SELLING BEGINS WITH KNOWLEDGE.
As more and more options become avail- Good selling is being knowledgeable about the
able directly to each individual, it is product. Great selling is being knowledgeable
about the product and the customer. But the
greatest selling is applying the knowledge about
both the product and the customer into a cus-
that ultimately defines us. Products that can tomized application of benefits to lifestyle. In
be customized to fit into the complex identi- our instant gratification society, we are seeped
ties of the people that form the customer base in an age of instant information overload. Speed
are the products that those people seek for and quantity have overshadowed accuracy and
their own lives. And it is the job of sales to quality in so many aspects of our lives that it has
gotten difficult to wade through the digital muck.
educate the public on how those products can
AS SALESPEOPLE IN THE 21ST CENTURY, IT
be customized. But in a time where so many
IS OUR JOB TO ENSURE THAT OUR CUSTOM-
things are fighting for the mind-share of each ERS ARE NOT WEIGHED DOWN BY GOBS OF
individual, that education must be RAW DATA, but are instead presented with infor-
sought after, engaging, and relevant.
mation that is carefully analyzed with empathy
and relevancy in mind.
Finalist: Y. Lee Abbas, Hokkaido, Japan
“ THE LANDSCAPE OF THE AFFECTED
YEARS HAS DRAMATICALLY
THE WAY IN WHICH WE SELL IN THE
“Selling in the 21st century will look a lot like an Internet-based open-source
application, growing like a living, eating, breathing organism, influenced by
billions, growing wildly out of control with infinite psychological buyer profiles.
Harnessing this new beast of a matrix will necessitate the atomic teamwork
pod approach of research-driven, technology savvy, psychoanalytic profilers.
Low-end products and services will yield less face time with target audiences,
while high-ends become more expensive to market and sell due to investments
in education-based sales teams; MUCH LIKE THE NEW SOCIAL LANDSCAPE,
but that is another essay altogether.”
Finalist: Eric Polins, Tampa, Florida, USA
I SAW MY FIRST COMPUTER AT THE AGE OF
15 AND MY FIRST CELLPHONE AT THE AGE OF
18. TODAY, THE ENTRY AGE FOR BOTH THESE
PRODUCTS HAS COME DOWN TO 8 YEARS. THIS
MEANS TWO THINGS:S:
WE NEED TO RETHINK WE NEED TO RETHINK
OUR SELLING PROPOSITIONS: LIFETIME VALUE:
Giving products an age group allows us to As products adapt to a younger audience,
predefine selling strategies. Broadly these they begin to find new ways to interact with
could be emotional, intellectual or offer- them.This means product obsolesce will
driven. However, as the age group declines, happen much sooner. We therefore need
we now need to shift our focus to younger to remap the lifetime value of a customer
psychological triggers. into smaller timeframes and be prepared
Honor Roll: Alfred Lee, Mumbai, India
“ THE MORE THINGS CHANGE,
THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME
“Great 21st Century salespeople will distinguish themselves by
pulling off an impressive trick: they will harness new technolo-
gies to reach a larger audience than previously possible, in a more
immediate and personal way than ever before. More importantly,
THEY WILL RESIST THE URGE TO ABANDON SALESMANSHIP
IN PURSUIT OF GIMMICKRY.”
Honor Roll: Jason Schroeder, New York, USA
APPLYING THE IMPORTANCE
OF A PRODUCT TO A CHANGED
“The importance of
( WORD OF MOUTH )
cannot be overstated, especially consid-
ering that well over 90 percent of the
3000+ advertising messages an average
person gets in contact with every day go
by unnoticed. This leads to new ways of
getting in touch with consumers needing
to be studied. ”
Honor Roll: Philip Thys, Leipzig, Germany
“ The role of ideas
“ The majority of successful brands have leaned towards selling a user experience and integrat-
ing themselves to their consumer’s lives rather than a monotonous hard sell on traditional
media between certain hours...
W HAT’S MANDATORY IN SELLING IN
THE 21ST CENTURY ARE IDEAS THAT
EASILY SUM A PRODUCT’S EXISTENCE IN A
Nearly everyone has access to the same technologies and services. IT IS CRITICAL TO
DEVELOP A TONE OF VOICE IN THE WAY YOU SELL TO DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF AND
YOUR PRODUCT FROM OTHERS. So far I have learned that finding a unique way in to tell
the story of your product will ultimately determine if people will listen to you or not
Honor Roll: Sergio Fermin, New York, USA
BEGINNING MIDDLE END
= NON ENGAGEMENT
“ A higher level of engagement from beginning to end
“ ‘FEAR, UNCERTAINTY ANDbusiness
are still a part of making
decisions, so a good salesperson
finds the way to help the client move
through this successfully. The client
recognizes that this type of sales-
person has their well-being in mind
and that this sale is happening to-
gether as a group responsibility.
Honor Roll: Annette Osnos, New York, USA
“ CREATE TWO SETS OF CUSTOMERS —
THOSE WHO CONSUME YOUR PRODUCT
AND THOSE WHO MAKE IT
THE EMERGING SUPER-TREND FOR BUSINESSES IS TO CREATE ENABLING
ENGINES. I’M A TINKERER, AND THERE ARE TONS OF PEOPLE LIKE ME
WHO LOVE TO MAKE STUFF.
Enabling engines are tools that allow customers like us to easily make novel
products that consumers would actually want to buy. This business strategy
turns every maker of a business’ product into a member of a vast sales force
that is only paid on commission. These makers are often more zealous and pas-
sionate than a traditional sales force because they have an integral stake in the
success of the product. And because the maker network is now the sales force,
the message is much more personal and focused to each consumer.”
Honor Roll: Brandon Baunach, Berkeley, California, USA
“HOW DO I GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT?”
N EW SALES OPTIONS WILL ALWAYS INCREASE, BUT WE CAN
FOREVER HEAD IN THE DIRECTION OF GAINING SALES BY FO-
CUSING ON ONE CRITICAL SALES QUESTION THAT HAS NEVER AND
WILL NEVER CHANGE: HOW DO I GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT?
Although this key sales ingredient remains unchanged, what gaining sales often look like has changed
because what people want evolves. A current paradigm shift correlates to the Internet’s free flow of in-
formation. This has conditioned consumers to expect and appreciate businesses that are willing to share
something of value freely (often information), who are as transparent as possible, and that build community.
Traditionally, sales took place at the moment when goods or services were exchanged for something of equal
perceived value. Nowadays the moment of sales is often delayed. Many businesses, like Google, are making
sales by the counter-intuitive practice of giving away their products/services and finding ways to monetize
them later. This practice runs deeper than traditional promotional giveaways for brand awareness positioned
to lead to sales. This is actual consumer inclusion and empowerment in product development and brand
identity. SALES THAT LEVERAGE THIS THEME OF CUSTOMIZATION, USER- GENERATED CONTENT,
AND INTERACTION WILL FLOURISH.”
Honor Roll: Wayne Culpepper, Pietmont, South Carolina, USA
“ Technology as an ally to sales
On the other hand, sales people can also look
Consumers are far more educated to use accessibility of information to their ad-
vantage. By looking at a prospect as a person,
than in previous decades...It is no lon-
accessing online demographics, avoiding ste-
ger sufficient to only have a basic knowl-
reotypical judgement, and appealing to an indi-
edge of the product you are selling. vidual’s worldview, a salesman can create wants
PREPARATION within individuals. By utilising the technology
of databases, salespeople can research and tar-
is key in facilitating the decision making get prospects accurately and strategically.
process, and a good salesperson should
be able to offer valuable information and MARKETING GURU, SETH GODIN APTLY DE-
SCRIBES THAT, “SELLING TO PEOPLE WHO
insight that can’t be matched by a
ACTUALLY WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU IS
MORE EFFECTIVE THAN INTERRUPTING
STRANGERS WHO DON’T.”
Honor Roll: Andrew Kirkby, London, UK and Cape Town, South Africa
FROM OUR SELL_OR_ELSE
“SO WHAT MAKES A GREAT SALESPERSON?”
SOME POSTINGS FROM THE SELL_OR_ELSE LINKEDIN GROUP
A SALESMAN MUST BE CURIOUS ABOUT LIFE.
He must read all sorts of subjects. He must hang out with all kinds of people and he must try
things outside of his comfort zone.”
Alfred Lee, Group Head at Rapp India and Honor Roll for Search for the World’s Greatest Salesperson
THE SALES PERSON IS DRIVEN BY PRODUCING RESULTS
IMPORTANT TO AND VALUED BY THE CUSTOMER.
Second, the best sales professionals are incessantly curious. They want to learn about their cus-
tomers, their industry, their customers, the issues they face. They are curious about their own
profession and how they get to be the best!”
David Brock, President at Partners In EXCELLENCE, partnersinexcellenceblog.com
THE SALESMAN HAS THE MISSION / THE POWER TO
ESTABLISH A CONTEXT,
to bring to life an environment allowing a transaction to become an engaging moment.”
Patrick Leclercq, Interactive Marketing Director at Ogilvy & Mather, New York
IF YOU WANT SOMEONE TO RANK IN THE TOP 5%,
HERE IS WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR:
1.They set the bar very high for themselves. 5. 100% ACCOUNTABILITY FOR A LACK OF PERFOR-
THINK BHAG (BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL THAT MANCE. Win or lose, they take responsibility for
MOST SHAKE THEIR HEAD AT) figuring out how to make a deal happen.
2. NO QUALMS ABOUT MONEY. They can talk about 6.THEY’RE SOLD ON WHAT THEY ARE SELLING, WHO
it, uncover budgets and not feel the least bit of THEY ARE SELLING TO AND WHY THEY ARE SELLING.
pressure when it comes to money.
7. They get PUSH NOT PULL and understand the
3. UNCONDITIONAL COMMITMENT, what ever it power of selling is not in asking and listening not
takes ( as long as its legal) type of attitude. showing and telling. They sell collaboratively.
4. THE ABILITY TO ESTABLISH RAPPORT AND TRUST. 8. SELLING IS FUN FOR THEM, INFLUENCING PEOPLE
Specifically, they are able to convince someone IS A JOY.
with the questions and the sales prospect believes
the sales person is competent, reliable and has no
hidden agenda. THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN LIKE.
Teicko Huber, CEO, Inbound Marketing and Sales Execution Consultant
“ HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY CHANGED
HOW WE SELL?
WHAT’S THE IMPACT ON HOW WE
CONNECT, CONVINCE AND BUILD
More from the Sell_Or_Else LinkedIn group.
Log on and add yours.
“IT IS MORE IMPERATIVE THEN EVER TO BUILD BRAND LOYALTY SO THAT ALL THE
EMAILS, BLOGS, ETC ETC AREN’T JUST NOISE TO YOUR CUSTOMER BECAUSE HE/SHE
IS LOYAL TO YOUR BRAND.
Another point is personal attention once you get the customer on board to buy or “hear your pitch”
We all want to know there is a speaking, breathing, living person behind your company for that
sense of security.”
Christopher Kresge MBA, LEED AP Medical/Biotech Executive / Green / Entertainment Ventures
“THE INTERNET, SOCIAL MEDIA, WEB 2.0 AND ALL OTHER THINGS 2.0 CHANGE THE
WAY CUSTOMERS LEARN ABOUT US AND OUR REPUTATIONS.
Integrating these into our marketing and sales strategies is critical to our engagement strategies.
Before we even contact the customers, they know more about us, our reputations, our competitors”
David Brock, President at Partners In EXCELLENCE, partnersinexcellenceblog.com
THE CONSUMER IS INFORMED MORE THAN EVER BEFORE.
They won’t just believe what they tell you. They will research your product, seek opinions,
check it from every angle, know exactly how it compares with competitors...
Chris Jones, Digital Creative Director, Ogilvy Amsterdam