20 Rules to Find and Maintain Clients from David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy was a titan of advertising, and it was not by accident. He operated by rigorous principles that set him apart. In an article for Medium, Robert Williams collects 20 rules that he identified in Ogilvy’s work that allowed Ogilvy to become a master-level consultant.

The Outline of Success

  1. Regard the hunt for new clients as a sport, but get serious once you actually land the business.
  2. Never work for a client so big that you cannot afford to lose them; let your consultancy naturally grow to such a capacity that it can deftly take on big clients instead.
  3. Be selective of the clients you work with, choosing the ones for whom you can create the greatest value.
  4. Only add new clients sparingly, because new clients require a lot of start-up activities/discovery that existing clients do not.
  5. Only work for people whose product or service you actually appreciate.
  6. Only accept a client if you can improve upon what they are already doing.
  7. Do not take on clients who are going to die out regardless.
  8. Only work for clients who want you to make a profit.
  9. Do not publicly pursue clients.
  10. Avoid contests where too many other agencies are involved.
  11. Focus on the one person who ultimately has the power to hire you.
  12. Remain flexible when selling clients.
  13. Be forthright about your limitations in order to build more trust in your strengths.
  14. Do not get bogged down in data points when pitching to clients.
  15. Explicitly explain why clients should hire you.
  16. Do not pay an outside source a commission for new business.
  17. Beware of clients who have no budget for their great idea.
  18. Do not underestimate personality.
  19. Fire clients more often than they fire you; specifically, get rid of clients if their behavior damages the morale of your people who are working for them.
  20. Use your specialty to find new clients.

For additional elaboration on all of these rules, you can view the original article here:

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