by Charlie Cook
Do you know when the best time is to help your prospects make their first purchase?
Timing is everything in marketing. Get it wrong and you can’t get your prospects’ attention. Get it right and you’ll see your revenue grow each month of the year.
My daughter was twelve when we got a dog. She couldn’t get enough of that cute, cuddly puppy and made good on her promises to take care of it at first, anyway. The first week she fed, walked and brushed our new dog. The second week, she fed and walked her. After three months, she was keeping up with the feeding and that was it.
When a puppy first comes into the house, its owner is enthusiastic and will do anything and everything for it. If you’ve ever owned a dog, you know what I’m talking about. It’s called the “new puppy syndrome”.
Prospects experience the new puppy syndrome with your small business marketing. The first time they sign up for your free offer, stop by for a test drive or visit your store, they’re enthusiastic and this is the time they’re the most likely to make a purchase.
Your prospects’ interest wanes with each day that passes. They go from highly interested to mildly interested or not interested at all.
You’ve got two opportunities to help your prospects buy with your small business marketing. The first is during the 7 to 10 days after they became a qualified lead. This is the time you want to follow up with additional information and make an offer they can’t refuse.
One of my clients periodically gives talks to coaches, health professionals and other trainers to promote his specialized athletic training business. His unique training system generates a lot of interest, and he collects contact information from many in his audiences. When is the best time for him to make the next contact with these prospects?
Immediately! These people are primed to become clients and customers. Imagine how impressed his new contacts would be find an email or free guide, or offer waiting for them when they return to their offices.
To help people remember you and act on your offers, give them helpful information along with a “new prospect offer” they can’t refuse. Do this once a day or once every other day for the first 7 to 10 days after you’ve gotten their contact information. Your prospects will remember you and you’ll convert more leads to clients.
I know you’re thinking, “Three to seven contacts per week? That’s way too many! I’ll lose all my prospects with this approach.”
The opposite is true. Wait a week or more to follow-up with your prospects, and they’ll have forgotten you exist. When they get your note, they’ll have lost their initial enthusiasm and curiosity and won’t even read it.
There is no exact right number of times to contact new prospects the first week they become qualified leads.
You’ll have to test this yourself and gauge the results. Obviously you don’t want to be annoying. You do want to start a conversation with your prospects about their needs and how your products or services meet those needs.
You know your business; tie your follow up with prospects to the business or seasonal cycles or the events critical to your industry or your customers. For example, immediate follow-up is critical when purchasing decisions are event-driven.
My client the athletic trainer can’t wait to contact a new prospect because the athletes he works with are training for specific competitive events. If he doesn’t sell his services soon enough, the event will have passed and he’ll have lost the sale.
Depending on what you market, the purchase of your products may not be event driven. For example, if you’re a financial advisor, no single event will prompt your prospects to pick a new one. Given that time isn’t usually a constraint for your prospects what can you do?
What do you do about the prospect that continues to be interested after 10 days or so but just won’t commit to a purchase?
Some prospects won’t buy for months or even years.
Keep the conversation going; continue to provide them with helpful ideas a couple of times a month. Continue to educate them about your business and your services. You’ll increase their perception of need and convert them to clients.
Want to convert more of your prospects to clients?
Follow-up frequently during the first 7-10 days and then regularly each week or every other week until you make the sale. Take advantage of the “new puppy syndrome” and you can double your sales by helping your prospects get what they want when they want it.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps small business owners and marketing professionals attract more clients, whether you are marketing in print, in person or online. I personally use Charlie's book, Insider Secrets to 15 Second Marketing and highly recommend that you do the same.
The article above was reprinted with permission from Charlie Cook. The link immediately above is an affiliate link, which means that if you buy the product, I get a commission. I have purchased the product and use its methods myself. I am a firm believer in the product.