10 Tips from David Ogilvy on How to Be a Great Salesperson


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In 1935, in “The Theory and Practice of Selling the AGA Cooker” – a sales guide still considered one of the best sales manuals ever written – David Ogilvy outlined the 10 universal rules that define a successful salesperson.

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10 Tips from David Ogilvy on How to Be a Great Salesperson

  1. 1. Thursday, August 8, 13
  2. 2. Tell the person who opens the door frankly and briefly what you have come for; it will get her on your side. Never on any account get in on false pretences.1 Thursday, August 8, 13
  3. 3. Study the best time of day for calling; between twelve and two pm you not be welcome, whereas a call at an unorthodox time of day – after supper in the summer, for instance – will often succeed2 Thursday, August 8, 13
  4. 4. Study the methods of your competitors and do the exact opposite.3 Thursday, August 8, 13
  5. 5. Find out all you can about your prospects before you call on 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.4 Thursday, August 8, 13
  6. 6. The worst fault a salesman can commit is to be a bore.5 Thursday, August 8, 13
  7. 7. The more she talks the better, and if you can make her laugh you are several points up.6 Thursday, August 8, 13
  8. 8. Perhaps the most important thing of all is the avoid standardisation in your sales talk. If you find yourself one fine day saying the same thing to a bishop and a trapezist, you are done for.7 Thursday, August 8, 13
  9. 9. When the prospect tries to bring the interview to a close, go gracefully. It can only hurt you to be kicked out.8 Thursday, August 8, 13
  10. 10. 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.9 Thursday, August 8, 13
  11. 11. Quality of salesmanship involves energy, time and knowledge of the product.10 Thursday, August 8, 13
  12. 12. What do modern sales leaders think about how to be a great sales rep? Thursday, August 8, 13
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