Right now, two of my five boys are in sports, playing soccer. Tyler, who is seven years old, loves competition of any kind and he is even a legend in his own mind. When Tyler is playing, he is playing to score points and win the game.
Jeremiah, my three-year-old, is under the impression that the reason he plays is to “win” snacks at the end of the game. Jeremiah believes he is a soccer superstar because after every game he “wins” snacks.
Your company’s potential prospects are the same as Tyler and Jeremiah. What motivates one prospect to become a customer, client or patient today may not motivate a different prospect tomorrow. This is why follow-up is so important, even though it is often overlooked by business owners. People are going to be ready to buy at different times and for different reasons. A quick search of the Internet uncovered these statistics about how many touches it takes to close a sale:
2% of sales close on the 1st call
3% of sales close on the 2nd call
4% of sales close on the 3rd call
10% of sales close on the 4th call
81% of sales close on (or after) the 5th call
Unfortunately, most salespeople give up on their prospects long before the 5th+ call and ultimately leave the vast majority of potential business on the table.
According to Gartner Research, “67% of the prospective buyers that tell you “no” today will be ready to buy in the next year.”
My take on Gartner’s statistic is people are going to buy when they are good and ready to buy. Imagine for a second how different your business would be if 67% of the people who said, “no” over the last 2 years ultimately became buyers. The best word to describe that change in business for most people is “revolutionary.”
Of course following up for a year or more is difficult, especially with the limitations we all have like needing to eat and sleep. The single simplest way to follow-up long term is with a monthly newsletter specifically for unconverted sales. Inside the newsletter, you would have all the normal information like personal articles, informative articles, as well as fun articles, but you would also make some kind of offer to convert your prospects to customers.