In my end-all, be-all of monkey sales dreams, the ideal transaction would go something like this: I grow a great crop of bananas; I tell my fellow monkeys how awesome the bananas taste and how good they are for them; and then my monkey “prospects” literally fight over who gets to buy the bananas and how many! Oh, that it would be that easy—talk about King Monkey heaven!
Of course, reality is never quite like our dreams (sometimes, thankfully so). Sure, some people will buy products or services impulsively the very first time they’re exposed to them, but a good many more will NEVER buy no matter how many times they hear about them and no matter how sweet or tantalizing the offer. Fortunately, reality lies somewhere in the middle . . . and that’s an important nugget for anyone with something to sell, whether it’s a bunch of bananas, a manufactured product, or a professional service: selling is a process that takes time and repeated exposure to convert prospects into leads and, ultimately, into customers.
In the parlance of marketing types, we call these repeated exposures “touches.” Generally speaking, the higher the price of your product or service, the more touches you need to make a sale. And depending on whose Marketing 101 course you took or which marketing guru’s cookbook you’re currently reading, successful sales can take anywhere from three to 12 touches (and according to my own experience, the experts are right).
What do I mean by “touch?”
Marketing touches can include exposing your prospects and leads to:
- TV, radio, or print ads about your product or service
- Your Web site, blog
- Direct mail (letters, flyers, postcards)
- Emails (sales pitches, newsletters)
- Sales calls
- Face-to-face interactions
- Tradeshow displays and presentations
- Seminars, workshops, etc.
In fact, any time you connect with your target audience and convey a message about your product or service is a “touch.” But not all touches are created equal. Touches inherently carry different weights or value. Which touch do you think is worth more—shaking hands and kissing babies, or an impersonal email sent to a bulk prospects list? Clearly, the more personal the touch, the greater its value.
Perhaps the most valuable touches are those that result from inbound traffic to your Web site, call center, or place of business. Why? Because when prospects contact YOU, they already have shown interest in your product or service. They are bona fide leads. Sometimes all that’s needed to “seal the deal” is a little personal interaction and attention.
Case in point: when Barrel O’Monkeyz’ clients want to enhance their new business development capabilities, we look for ways to drive inbound traffic as a means to generate additional quality leads, optimize the value of touches, and convert sales.
Clearly, anyone who remains inclined to send out just one email or postcard and then sit back and hope for the sales numbers to climb needs to THINK AGAIN. Selling just doesn’t work that way. Selling is a process of moving someone along the continuum of being a prospect (a “possibility”) to a lead (a “likelihood”) to a customer. And the way we do that is through high value touches.
Where are you in the selling continuum these days? Where have you had success? What have been your greatest challenges? Share your results here . . . interested monkeys want to know!
Barrel O’Monkeyz is proud to sponsor the University of San Diego’s 4th annual “Wine Classic” fundraiser benefitting student scholars, July 22, 2012. Wineries from throughout California and Mexico will be on hand with more than 50 wines available for sampling. To find out more about sponsor opportunities and the event, visit http://www.sandiego.edu/wineclassic/.
Southern California Venture Network (www.scvn.org)—I want to shout out to everyone who attended the SCVN’s May 8 Networking Event, “Innovations in Mobile Marketing.” Great time, great people, great networking opportunity! In case you don’t know, the SCVN comprises C-level executives and high-end service providers who share an interest in supporting emerging businesses through hosting monthly networking events and utilizing its extensive network of business associates. The SCVN’s next networking event is an Open House, Tuesday, May 29, 5:45 to 8:30 pm. Location to be determined. (I’ll post more details here later.)
Check out this recent video of me commenting on the SCVN:
View all BoM videos at:
Managing relationships with your customers matters—Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software tools incorporate Web, telephone, data, and mobile technologies with sales tracking, business automation, customer information management, and real-time analytics to improve customer acquisition and retention by helping you make smarter business, marketing, and sales decisions. For more information, check out these CRM solutions: www.salesforce.com, www.zoho.com, www.sugarcrm.com. (If you’ve had any experience with these companies or others, let us know by commenting here.)