If you’ve been in business for any length of time and you’ve been reading business or marketing books, I’ll bet you’ve come across the concept that in order to convince a prospect to move to the next step there’s a magic number of times you must ‘touch’ them in order to achieve your goal.
Here’s a question, what counts as a touch? Do you have to actually speak to the prospect for it to ‘count’ as a touch? The answer is no. Here are some examples of a touch
Speaking with the prospect Leaving a voice mail message
Speaking with or leaving a message for their spouse or adult children
Speaking with or leaving a message for a non decision maker who has influence with the prospect
Sending a direct mail piece such as a sales letter, shock and awe package or newsletter
Sending an e-mail that is confirmed that it was opened and preferably the links were clicked on (sending an email and not knowing the previous criteria does not count).
As I’ve spoken with clients through the years I’ve heard the number of 5 touches, 7 touches even as many as 20 touches. As luck would have it the National Sales Executive Association did a study on this. They found there is a direct correlation between the number of touches and the amount percentage of prospects who convert to a sale. Here’s what they found:
- 2% of sales are made after the 1st contact
- 3% of sales are made after the 2nd contact
- 5% of sales are made after the 3rd contact
- 10% of sales are made after the 4th contact
- 80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th contacts
Most professionals are leaving a ton of sales on the table because they stop communicating with their prospects after only one contact. To be fair, most firms I see average a conversion rate of more than 5% but less than 10% of the total number of leads that walk into their door. The ability to increase their conversion rates is in direct proportion to their willingness to increase the number of touches they make to their prospects.
There is no more powerful way to move a prospect from where they are to the next stage in your sales process than having someone get on the phone with them.
My advice is to sit down right now and determine how many times you communicate with a lead that doesn’t set an appointment, doesn’t show to an appointment or doesn’t purchase from you on the initial visit. Once you have that mapped out, go about looking for ways you can communicate with them until they die, buy or unsubscribe!
Building a better business, one touch at a time