How many touches does it take to close a sale?

I’m often asked “James, how many follow-ups does it take to close a sale?” Here’s a summary of my answer. 

  • 2% close on the 1st call
  • 3% close on the 2nd call
  • 4% close on the 3rd call
  • 10% close on the 4th call
  • 81% close on (or after) the 5th call

When do most companies stop following-up?

  • 48 % quit after the 1st call
  • 24 % quit after the 2nd call
  • 12 % quit after the 3rd call
  • 6 % quit after the 4th call
  • 10 % quit after the 5th call

So … the answer to how often you should follow up or “touch” a client is … MORE THAN 5 TIMES.   And what makes life even more interesting is the frequency of those first 5 touches. Every business is a bit different but generally if someone contacts you and shows interest in your product/services … you should have a follow up system in place to contact them at least 5 times in the next 30 days!

That’s when (statistically) you’re most likely to win the business.

But what if they don’t buy then? … (You’ll love this stat) …

“67% of the prospective buyers that tell you “no” today will be ready to buy in the next year.” – Gartner Research

“80% of leads you consider to be “dead” will buy within 2 years.” – Sirius Decisions

So … when a prospect or lead gets in touch, you should follow up at least 5 times in the first 30 days then move them to a long term nurture sequence where you follow up once a month at least 12 more times. To be a real hero … follow up 24 more times!

If you simply follow this model (even doing it badly) with EVERY LEAD YOU GET you will double your business. Do the math, see for yourself.   Cool huh?  

PS. Want a clue how to do this so it’s not a royal pain in the *ss trying to keep it all straight? Use a sequential email autoresponder service. To start I recommend Aweber for a variety of reasons. Did I mention this is one of those services my company offers? Yup, we write all these follow up emails and set up the autoresponders too. And we’re cheaper than hiring a sales person *wink*

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James Burchill

James is a fan of practical "what" and "how to" information and enjoys showing you how to 'convert conversations into cash' using social media, online marketing and live events.

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