These contacts should take place over a period of a few weeks using as many different methods of communication as possible. Ideas include email, direct mail, phone calls, social media, and links to blog posts, articles, or landing sites.
The driving philosophy behind multiple touch sale is the idea that a potential customer almost never makes a major purchase during his or her first contact with a salesperson.
It usually takes between seven and 12 contacts – and in a weak economy as many as 16 contacts – before a customer decides to make a purchase.
The Four Stages of Customer Readiness
Customers typically go through a four-stage process before they purchase a big-tag item or service.
Attention. The first stage occurs when the customer becomes aware of the product for sale.
Interest. During the interest stage, the customer takes a closer look at the product and begins to see how it might be of use. Curiosity is typically high during this stage, and the customer will appreciate receiving additional information about the product.
Desire. At this stage, the customer has all but made the decision that he or she wants to buy the product. The customer does not need additional information at this point, but testimonials from clients who have bought the product and loved it might be helpful.
Action. The customer purchases the product from you.
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Using the Multiple Touch Sale Approach
Your job as a salesperson is to guide the customer through those four stages.
Your first contact usually involves an introductory telephone call followed by an email.
During the next weeks and months, your job is to engage in lead nurturing with at least 12 planned contacts. Try to vary the ways in which you reach out to your lead and analyze which forms of communication get the best response.
If your lead has not responded after 12 to 16 contacts, you have a difficult decision to make. You can either make one final, gracious call reminding the lead of your availability in the future in case he or she should decide to make the purchase at a later date.
Your second option is to put the lead back into the hopper so that he or she receives another series of 12 or more contacts. You can continue with this pattern until the lead makes the purchase or asks to be removed from your contact list.
The multiple touch sale approach might take a little more effort on the part of the salesperson, but the method pays off well. According to Business Acceleration Strategies, the multi-touch sale method can increase your company’s sales by over 200 percent. That’s well worth the time it takes to make a few extra phone calls!