Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Secret to Decreasing the Number of Touches to Close a Sale

The common rule of marketing is that it takes 8 contacts or “touches” to close a sale. “Ah, you say – That’s the magic number? Easy enough, Bo! I’ll just pester my client 8 times until she buys from me!”

Not so fast.

Building a relationship with your customers takes time, effort, and a good marketing plan. Treating customers as if they are nothing more than a number to achieve won’t lead to an ongoing relationship with repeated orders and increased sales volume.

Imagine two companies who want to increase their sales volume. Company A invests heavily in a tradeshow. Not having a solid marketing plan, Company A gives out lots and lots of paper handouts to everyone who walks by their booth. The handouts are informative and well-designed – and if a potential client shows interest, they might even get a full-color brochure. Company A brings home alot of business cards.

Company B invests heavily in the same tradeshow, but they have a well-thought out marketing plan. At the tradeshow, they hand out memorable promotional products with their company logo and tagline (maybe a light up stressball or pen). The giveaways are clever or useful enough that more people actually visit their booth to get more information (and a giveaway!) Company B also brings home a ton of business cards.

Company A divies up the business cards among its salespeople who start to cold call their prospects. They get a lot of voicemail and leave a lot of messages. Most of their prospects don’t remember who Company A is or what they sell.

Company B also starts the follow up process, but they begin their calls by referring to the memorable promotional product. The prospect makes the connection between the salesperson, the tradeshow and the product sitting on her desk. Company B actively markets to the warm prospects that have resulted from the initial two contacts. They follow up with another promotional product, perhaps a digital desk clock, a travel coffee mug, or other promotional item that will be used – and seen – every day. Company B has exponentially increased the number of times their prospects associate Company B’s logo and tagline with the product they want to order.

Hard to believe? Let’s play a quick word association name. Who do you think of when you want to ship something that absolutely positively has to be there overnight? I’m betting it’s FedEx! Why? Because you see the FedEx logo and brand name everywhere. It’s constant reinforcement, and brand reinforcement is vital to the sales process.

(In the meantime, Company A fires up their email and starts sending out emails in an attempt to reach their prospects, because they have no warm leads and no prospect relationship. No one can remember who they are.)

By providing your clients with fun, interesting, and useful promotional products, you are creating an environment where your company name is familiar and it becomes easier to build rapport when your salesperson calls. It becomes easier for your prospect to become your client and to give you her business because you have given to her first. Your prospects will have more contacts or touches with you, your company and your brand – before you even pick up the phone. Which company do YOU think is going to close the sale with less touches?

Logo'd Gear provides high-quality custom embroidered apparel and promotional products to help you brand your company. Visit us on the web at or call 704.334.9333 for more information.