New business success –

AKA How many touchpoints does your prospect need to become a client?

Have you ever felt frustrated by how long it takes to ‘convert’ a prospect to being your client? Or wondered what you’re doing wrong? Before you think it must be you, you might want to consider the (US) National Sales Executive Association figures on B2B sector sales below;

  • 2% of sales are made on the first contact
  • 3% of sales are made on the second contact
  • 5% of sales are made on third contact
  • 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
  • 80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th contact

Very similar statistics were also mentioned in Jay Levinson’s book Guerilla Marketing although he stops at 5. I’ve always worked on 7.

Whilst these statistics are heading towards being 10 years old, most likely, if anything, given the current state of the world economy, the number of contacts required to get a sale have probably gone up, not down.

Yet only 10% of people will make more than three contacts with their prospects and a staggering 48% of people will never follow up a prospect.

This all begs the question is there another way to do this rather than making 5-12 phone calls (which let’s face it, is a kind of daunting thought).

Yes. It means you have to stay in contact – whatever that means for your business – marketers often refer to them as touchpoints (or ways your prospect/clients are ‘touched’ by your brand.

You might consider using a blog, twitter, e-mail marketing, newsletter, media stories, whitepapers, events, thank you cards, branded items, tradeshows, advertising,“how are you doing” phone calls or drop-ins. In other words, you have to do whatever it takes to have your message in front of your future client, so that when they’re read to buy, you’re top of their mind, in front of their eyes or in their ears.

It also highlights the need to make sure you have your marketing touchpoints planned (systematised if at all possible), consistent and customer-focused (which means paying attention to the only question you need to ask yourself “What’s in it for me?” or WIIFM).

The moral to the story is, if it’s going to take 12 (or maybe more) contacts to have someone buy from you, make sure every single encounter with your brand counts.

PS: whilst these statistics are based on B2B research, if you’re selling to consumers, given the competition and noise in the marketplace for most items, you might also want to work on the same numbers. If you convert earlier – well done.