One of our largest new accounts is a personal injury law firm in New York. The relationship started with our shock and awe package, which captured the firm as a lead.
But they weren’t ready to buy.
Next, we initiated a follow-up campaign that included our Weekend Reading e-blast, which was opened 80 percent of the time, and (of course) our monthly print newsletter.
But they still weren’t ready to buy.
For almost six months we used the newsletter as a slow-drip campaign tool before they decided to come on board as a TNP client.
Cost of the initial shock and awe package: $9.
Cost of the follow-up campaign: $16.
Cost of sending the monthly newsletter: about a dollar per month.
Cost for the dozen or so weekend reading emails: negligible.
All told, we spent about $31 to acquire a client who will now spend tens of thousands of dollars annually with us.
There’s a huge lesson to be learned here: Prospects buy when they’re ready. Think of all the reasons why a prospect would decide not to do business with you right now:
- They’re too busy.
- They don’t realize that they need your solution.
- They’re concerned about their financial situation.
- They’re thinking about more urgent things.
These are just a few of the nearly infinite reasons why a prospect isn’t ready to buy. In reality, the only time a prospect can pull the trigger and make a purchase is when everything lines up: They have the budget, they understand what they need, and they’ve decided you’re the right solution for them. Understandably, it’s rare for the stars to align perfectly at the exact time you initiate contact with a prospect, so what happens to those leads who aren’t ready to buy?
What the Numbers Say
Here’s how the numbers typically play out: only two percent of sales occur during a first contact with prospects. And this makes sense, because the prospects don’t know you that well, and conversely, you don’t know them that well either. It’s not easy to offer them the perfect solution to their problem so early in the relationship. In most cases, your prospects need time to develop trust in your company, and your own salespeople actually have to get to know the prospects and their needs, concerns, and goals.
Studies show that 80 percent of new sales occur after at least five touches from a business. Unfortunately, the vast majority of salespeople stop trying well before that fifth touch.
- 44 percent of salespeople give up after the first “no.”
- 22 percent give up after the second “no.”
- 14 percent give up after the third “no.”
- 12 percent give up after the fourth “no.”
All told, 92 percent of salespeople are out of the running after the fourth “no,” which leaves just 8 percent of salespeople left standing to collect the 80 percent of sales that occur after five or more touches with prospects.
It’s clear that the majority of prospects need several contacts with a business before they’re ready to open their wallets, but what do those contacts actually look like? Really, the touches can be anything from in-person meetings and phone calls, to emails and direct mail pieces. A variety of methods will help you reach your prospects.
But while it’s essential to mix it up and use a variety of different methods for connecting with prospects, the No. 1 way to stay top-of-mind with prospects and turn them into customers is with a monthly print newsletter. Print newsletters are a fantastic opportunity to maintain that contact in a manner that’s worth the time and full of value.
Using a Print Newsletter
Every month, thousands of prospects receive our company’s newsletter, and it provides them with actionable business information from our CEO, spotlights on our team members, and a host of other valuable and engaging content.
A lot of our current clients were once on our mailing list for months or even years before buying. Without that consistent contact, would they have remembered us when they decided they wanted to produce a newsletter? Probably not!
If you think about it, five newsletters sent out over five months is equivalent to five touches with those prospects who receive them — and it’s pretty close to the six months we suggest to start seeing solid results from a new newsletter campaign. Over that period of several months, you’ll really start to get on the radar of prospects.
It’s especially valuable for prospects who voluntarily sign up to receive your newsletter, because they’re already receptive to your message, but monthly newsletters can even work with cold prospects who simply get used to receiving correspondence from you each month. Just be sure to follow up with a postcard and a Free-Standing Insert (or FSI) in your next newsletter to convert them to new customers.
Persistence is Everything
There’s one other great point about continuing to follow up with prospects. The more persistent you have to be when you’re winning a client’s business, the more likely they are to stick with you when you finally succeed.
Unlike people who buy from you on the first or second contact, the most resistant clients are more likely to do their homework and avoid impulse decisions. Once they choose your business, you’ve got a customer who other businesses will have to work just as hard to poach away from you — and remember, most businesses give up long before that fifth touch.
So what’s the secret to converting prospects into customers?
By continuing to reach out and follow up with prospects, you stay on their radar until they’re ready to buy. Whether that’s six touches or twelve, you tap into that 80 percent of sales that most businesses are never in the running for.
To find out more about how newsletters can help you convert more prospects into customers, give us call at 208-297-5700!