After you meet someone for the first time, you’ll walk away knowing the person’s name and maybe a tidbit or two. Every time you connect with that person you’ll learn more, and that helps you decide whether that person is trustworthy and credible. Those connections, known as touches or impressions, can be an email, a newsletter, a phone call, a meeting, a direct tweet, etc.
Rarely will anyone buy on the first, second or third touch. The sales funnel requires nurturing before prospects trust them enough to buy. This brings up one of the more commonly asked questions: “What’s the average number of touches it takes to turn a prospect into a customer?”
Search the Internet and books about marketing, and you’ll find answers ranging from 5 to 20+ touches. The number that pops up most is seven. Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s “Rule of Seven” states that you must contact your buyers a minimum of seven times in an 18-month period for them to remember you. Jay Abraham also cites seven as the number of times you have to contact someone and ask for a sale before you get a “yes.”
However, the number of touches isn’t the only factor that matters. Three other factors are important.
The first is the quality of your touches. Prospects need to know certain standard things. Are you providing the information they need to make an educated buying decision? They won’t be comfortable enough to do business with you until you’ve answered the following questions:
- Is the problem they have one that you can solve?
- How does your solution work?
- What are they going to have to do before you can start? What else will be expected from them?
- How much is it going to cost?
- What results can they expect? How long will it take to see results?
- Who else like them have you helped? What other kinds of proof do you have that it works?
You should also answer common questions and straighten out misconceptions people often have. You can do that all proactively in your touches.
When you provide this information in your touches, you’re more likely to convert people into customers. And you’ll do it much faster than someone whose touches are all the “buy my stuff” type.
The second factor that impacts the number of touches you need is the cost of your product. A business-to-business (B2B) company that sells services that start at $10,000 has a longer sales cycle and needs more touches than a business-to-consumer (B2C) company selling $10 products.
The third factor that affects the number of touches is the level of awareness and interest. If they have given you permission to send them information and have genuine interest, then it will take fewer touches than reaching out to people who don’t know you and haven’t expressed interest. In this case, you need get on their radar first – that requires more touches.
To sum up, to calculate the number of touches you need, start with your target market and price point. Know that you need a minimum of seven touches and calculate upwards from there based on how much information you need to convey. When you show that you understand their problem and give them the information they need to make a buying decision, your company earns their trust and gains credibility. That’s what delivers the sale.
What’s one way to create a powerful touch? Have you found that it takes an X amount of touches to make the sale?