The Power of the Number Seven
Many salespeople are superstitious. To be fair, blaming the cosmos for the bad day you might be having is just that little bit easier than accepting that there’s something that you personally need to do differently.
But this post is not about that. In this post, we’re going to talk about what could very easily be referred to as a lucky number – and that number is seven.
Research has shown us that when we look at the sales process, and more specifically when we’re prospecting, that we need to have had seven ‘touch points’ with that prospect in order to get things moving. Now, these touch points don’t have to come in the form of a phone call or a meeting – they can be an email, a newsletter, an invitation to a webinar, the sharing of a white paper or the sending of a piece of promotional merchandise. Whatever they are, you need to make sure that you’ve offered up seven of them before you can expect a result.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. Those seven touch points don’t need to have come from you. Every time a competitor calls, that’s another step towards the magical seven, and what’s worse, that very same research also tells us that the average salesperson will stop trying after just three.
So think about it. Competitor A calls your prospect, sends an email and even gets a meeting. But no business. Competitor B leaves three voicemails but never gets his call returned. And then you pick up the phone and as if by magic, your prospect is open to a discussion with you on your very first call!
So how do you capitalize on this? It’s simple – work out all seven touch points to your new prospect before you even start on point one. Sure, you might get lucky and find your first call is your prospect’s number seven, but the odds really are against you. Just don’t give up after three attempts and make sure you don’t do all the groundwork and then let your competitors in the business.