“Make sure your advertising gives people a damn good, convincing reason to change their behaviour”.
- Bob Hoffman
The first time a man/woman tries picking up someone of the opposite sex, or even tries dialling an escort or tries hitting up a prostitute at the corner of a street, the apprehension is at an all-time high. Humans tend to get stuck in inertia, and it becomes really difficult to let go, especially when trying to do something that is against their mental model. This is where advertising comes in. The comparison sure sounds weird right now, but do read on.
A walking, talking advertising board for any brand/agency is their salesmen. Now, a salesman is no different from a prostitute (male or female). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they both do the same thing. They are both selling two entirely different propositions. A salesman represents a brand that he is employed by. A prostitute himself/herself is the brand. What, however, a salesman can learn from a prostitute is the ways of effectively selling.
First and foremost, have you seen the way a prostitute approaches the other person? (This is true only in the case of prostitutes/escorts roaming the streets and not the organised ones with pimps). The walk is her/his call to attention. A seductive walk followed by the strategic bending of the body is all designed to give the prospective customer a view of the ‘product’. This gets the customer’s attention and interest. A salesman, similarly, has to have a very strong opening. Getting the interest of the prospective customer is important.
Prostitutes or escorts, in the way they talk, are selling a dream to their customer. It’s a land of fulfilment, something that the customers are deprived of in their daily life. This makes their pitch even more exciting and desirable. Similarly, a salesman, like David Ogilvy said, needs to sell a dream, not the product. The product, just as in the case of the escort, is already on display. What needs to be sold is a dream by detailing benefits that can be derived from the usage of the product.
Escorts, or even pick up artists, for that matter find it very difficult to get their customers in the first go. They know that they have to interact with X number of people to get Y number of customers. Similarly, for salesmen, it is very important to dedicatedly pursue clients. Same as any advertising campaign. It has to be shown to X number of people for Y number of people to respond to the advertising. So, the more the number of people that get exposed to your communication, the more the chances of conversion.
The art of selling is typically best displayed by escorts/prostitutes, and there indeed is a lot a salesman can learn from them.