How to Win Over the Man in the Chair Salesmanship, Repetition, and Direct Mail

In a classic business-to-business print ad from the late 50's for McGraw-Hill Magazines an imposing looking executive sits in his chair. He has both feet planted firmly on the ground, a scowl on his face. His hands are folded together in front of him and his elbows rest on the chair; he leans ever so slightly forward. To his right run these eight lines of copy:

"I don't know who you are.

I don't know your company.

I don't know your company's product.

I don't know what your company stands for.

I don't know your company's customers.

I don't know your company's record.

I don't know your company's reputation.

Now ? what was it you wanted to sell me?"

Across the bottom, a single line of copy drives home the selling proposition:

MORAL: Sales start before your salesman calls ? with business publication advertising."

This ad amplifies and expands on what many, including David Ogilvy, consider to be the single best definition of advertising ever given. "Advertising," said copywriter John E. Kennedy nearly eighty years ago, "is salesmanship in print."

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