Not Just Number of Touches, but Quality of Your Contact
How many touches does it take to turn a prospect into a customer in professional selling? To get that first appointment? To just be remembered? It’s a statistic which is cited often and varies greatly – recommendations range from five to 20+ touches to engage a new lead. Maybe we should be less focused on the number of touches and more concerned with the quality of our touches. Are we using varied channels for connecting with prospects and a wide variety of content? Is there something in our engagement that will leave the prospect glad we reached out? When we reach out to prospects, are we selling or helping?
As much as ‘value-added selling’ is recognized in the sales profession, we generally don’t do a very good job of communicating the benefits of doing business with us to the customer. At the end of the day, we are still too focused on what we have to sell versus what the customer needs to be more profitable, to be more competitive and to realize aggressive growth. Jay Baer, author of You Tility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help, Not Hype, wrote, “If you’re wondering how to make your products seem more exciting, you’re asking the wrong question… To win attention these days you must ask a different question: ‘How can we help?’ If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life.”
There is a reason that marketing so often uses white papers and other “assets” for the purpose of lead generation. Quality insight is valuable. Business professionals at every level are continually looking for fresh insights and ideas. If we can become that resource to our prospects and customers, we will earn the opportunity not only to hold their attention, but to win their business.
Admittedly, it is difficult to know the specifics of what prospects need before we’ve had the opportunity to explore with them to uncover their unique pain points. Until we get that opportunity, we can forward interesting and timely business articles and recommendations on the latest business publications. And don’t forget about entertainment. Go ahead and throw some (appropriate) humor and fun into the mix. Again, the goal is to make our customers glad we engaged them.
There really is no magical number of touches to convert prospects into customers in professional selling. If we aren’t interesting or adding value, it doesn’t matter how many times we reach out. If we mix it up and offer something of interest or value, our touches will lead to sales.