“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
When is it the right time to stop pitching someone? When do touches cross the line into being a nuisance? Stalking?
How Many Touches Are Enough?
There used to be a rule: it took X number of touches to land a sale. One drawback with the rule was, however, that no two experts agreed on the right number. One sales guru said the magic number was 7 while other consultants hedged their bets and said anywhere between 7 to 13 touches. One online articles says 28 to 62. So, which is it?
What Are Sales Touches?
Before we answer the question of how many touches are enough, let’s review what we mean by touches. Touches, or touchpoints, to sale are quite simply making contact to close a sale.
The reason touches are so important is they enable your prospects to get to know you. Here are a few key examples of what touches accomplish:
- Generate awareness of what you offer
- Build prospects’ trust in you
- Introduce your philosophy
- Gain credibility for your offering
- Allow you to better understand prospects’ needs
- Help prospects solve their problems
- Demonstrate your reliability
- Keep you “top of mind”
- Prime the pump for the purchasing decisions
The New Rule Is There Is No Rule
With all the heavy lifting touches do for you, why would you risk stopping before you know the prospect truly isn’t interested? All too often we assume folks don’t want to hear our message or we’re concerned people will perceive us negatively, even when there’s no evidence. They may just not be interested or have a need you can meet at this moment.
I have had many experiences where I’ve been providing content and information to folks for 1, 2, 5 and even 10 years before they reach out and tell me they want to work with me.
Trust the Process
Setting a specific number of touches may not be particularly useful. First, it depends on what you’re selling: Is it a big-ticket item? Are you offering a long-term service relationship?
My advice is don’t worry about what is the right number of touches or when to stop. Send out your message and allow recipients to inform you when enough is enough. They can unsubscribe or inform you via email or a call.
Until that happens, it’s entirely appropriate to continue sending your messages. You may want to segment them into a less frequent contacted group, but don’t remove them from your list entirely.
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