We’ve heard from different marketing gurus that you have to touch the prospect anywhere from 6 to 18 times to get their attention and ultimately the sale. While the number of times may be up for debate, as there are so many contributing factors, bottom line is the opportunity to create a lead and make a sale improves with every touch. And while it does take several touches with the prospect to cut through the mass of information they are bombarded with every day, the method of contacting the prospect is important, too.
Rule One: Once is Never Enough
Other than the impulse purchase, where there was likely never any forethought given to buying a product or service, sales are generated through information processing and increasing the levels of comfort and trust. People tend to buy from people they know and trust, and this typically goes the same for products and services as well. The initial lead generation is part of this connection process leading up to the sale.
Multiple touches create branding where the simple act of seeing a company’s logo (i.e. the brand) and messaging over and over gives the prospect a feeling of trust. Consider this example. The Acme Company and the Zulu Corporation both make square widgets. Over the past several months, Acme has connected with you through e-mail, radio, direct mail and billboards. When it’s time for you to make a purchase of square widgets, you do a Google search and both Acme and Zulu are at the top of the search results. Without any additional information, you are much more likely to initiate a purchase from Acme because you “know them” at some level. Over time, by virtue of seeing Acme through various sources, Acme has created a sense of knowing them which brings a level of trust.
This plays out in the same way for lead generation. While lead generation is only part of the way to the final sale, the more trust built in the lead generation process, the more likely the sale will be completed.
Rule Two: Multiple Formats
There are four types of ways we learn and process information: Visual, Tactile, Kinesthetic & Audio. Because we all process this information differently, it is important to use a variety of methods to market our products and services. Reaching out to prospects through e-mail, direct mail, advertising, both electronic and print, TV and radio are all ways to connect with the prospect. People will respond differently to different types of media, so when possible, utilize a variety of methods.
Changing the message within the specific type of channel you are utilizing is also a variation in connecting with the prospect differently. Although the channel is the same (i.e. e-mail), the message is different and provides a new touch. With every touch we are one step closer to creating a lead and closing the sale.
Rule Three: Consistency
There are times when a sale is based on a season or particular event, and the call to action aimed at the prospect is more time sensitive. This is also true in terms of creating leads. There comes a moment in time where a prospect determines their interest is high enough to gather more information, and external factors can stimulate this action. This is the beginning of the sales process where the prospect has made the decision to become a lead.
A consistent message over time, even with a time sensitive message, is really best. In the time sensitive situation, you have the opportunity to prepare and forewarn the prospect of the upcoming sale and deadlines. For the non-time based opportunities, a consistent touch has a much greater chance of reaching the prospect at the time of need. In fact, intersecting the prospect’s need with your offer is the perfect storm in marketing.
Additionally, reaching out to the prospect consistently over time sets the stage for the sale, and when an opportunity becomes available, such as a sudden discount or product close-out, the prospect is much better prepared to become a lead and move into the sale based on the relationship building that has happened over time.
There are many factors in lead generation, marketing and sales which keeps agencies and marketing companies in business. With today’s electronic advertising and the ability to track metrics to the finest degree, it is easy to get deep into the analytics of it all. But in the broader sense, maintaining a consistent message through multiple channels will serve you and your lead generation activities well.
For more information: Lead Scientist