"It Takes Five Closing Attempts Before You Get A Sale". Where It Came From, Myth Or Reality?

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If you've been in sales more than a week...or in advertising...or advertising sales..you've heard it..or a variation of it....

"It takes five closing attempts before they buy"

"You need to run the ad five times before anyone will buy from it"

"It takes five sales presentations before you get a sale"

"It takes an average of five e-mails before they buy"

Most of these are simply not true, and in a few cases, it can be true. But let's find out where this came from, shall we?

In the 1950s an advertising agency was testing a new brand name. So they hired some people to be in a focus group. And in that focus group they found out that it took an average of five times hearing the brand name...before the brand name was easily remembered. That's it. It wasn't five repetitions before anyone bought anything, it was just remembering the brand name.

In my last post, I talked about a print ad salesperson that I talked to in an hour long consultation. And I touched on this subject with him. But let's take different ad media and see how this "5 times" idea works;

Radio. Repetition is needed on radio. It isn't needed because it takes 5 repetitions before someone buys. Repetition is needed because in most cases the listener isn't sitting there with a pen and paper to write the phone number, or website, or address down before the end of the ad. And that's one reason longer radio ads work better than short ones. A 60 second radio ad can have far more information in it than a thirty second ad, and it gives more time for someone to capture (or remember) the contact information. The bad news about radio (and cable TV too) is that if you aren't listening to that station, it's as though you never ran the ad. Most people use radio as background music.....so first, they ave to hear or see the ad completely, and that can take several repetitions before they are even aware that an ad was on at all.

A few years ago, I was talking to the sales manager of the local radio station and I was thinking of advertising an expensive portable heater on the radio. He told me it would take a week or so to know if the radio as worked. I said "No, I'll know within an hour of the first ad". I ignored his advice to create a jingle and be clever in the ad. I used a 60 second ad to literally read a sales letter about the heater, and include my address. It was local, an most people would know how to find me as there is a popular restaurant a couple of doors down from us.

An hour after the first ad was broadcast (in our small town) we had sold enough off the ad to pay for the entire month of radio ads. It should be known though that if your business isn't known, and you are difficult to find, it will take a few repetitions for people to remember how to find you. The cable TV responses are similar to radio.

Print advertising, mostly direct mail. Once is all it takes to gauge response. Why? Because they have your ad in their hand. They can keep it, pass it along, throw it away...whatever they want.

It takes no repetitions at all. With a full page (or multiple page) direct mail piece or ad...you can tell the whole story...you can put comparable items in the ad, you can list features and benefits, create a compelling story. If the reader likes what you say, they can save the ad (or letter), put it in their pocket, read it again later...or call you from the ad. In direct response advertising, when done in print, every subsequent identical ad will pull a lower response. Generally, the second and third repetition of the ad combined will equal the response from the first time the ad is seen. So why do you keep advertising in print? New eyes. If someone hasn't seen your ad before, it's new to them. The other reason is timing. Some people are simply not ready to buy that day, and they may buy the 10th time they see your ad. But my experience is, have about three or four different ads...with different target audiences (or different appeals to the same audience) and rotate those ads. And hen do you stop running the ads? When they stop generating a profit.

E-Mail marketing. The reason you need so many repetitions of e-mail to get a good response is that the media is limited. It's hard to sell in an e-mail. You usually need to include a link to an online sales letter. And there is sometimes no emotional need to buy right away. The huge benefit is that it's free, and you can send e-mails until someone unsubscribes to your list.

Personal selling. In most forms of selling it entirely possible to get the vast majority of your sales on the very first presentation. Why? Because you can answer all their questions while you are in front of them, and they get the complete story. They are also most excited about your offer the first time you show it to them. It's nearly impossible to repeat the emotional high that comes from a great sales presentation. Just like a movie. How many times do you need to see a movie before you know if you like it or not?

But there is still the "It takes five closing attempts to make the average sale" idea. Is it true? In my first several years of selling, it may have been true...or at least close to true. Why? I didn't know how to sell. I didn't know how to qualify, when to talk about the money, and how to position myself as a trusted adviser. I didn't know about pre-selling before they ever see you, or perfectly matching your offer to their concerns. It took multiple closes after the presentation, because It broke down into "Objection-answer". Literally, I was arguing with the customer. Eventually I would wear them down..and some of them bought. But it also wore me down...and it wasn't really fun.

Think about the last really expensive thing that you bought...that you really wanted. Got it? How many closes did it take before you said "Yes"? I ask that in seminars, in talks to large groups of salespeople...and the answer is nearly always "One" or "None". Why? Because you wanted it. There was no doubt in your mind. You were certain.

How to create that level of certainty in the prospect's mind is a subject for a different time. But of course...I wrote a book on one call closing, and the book is dedicated to the subject.
#myth #reality
  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    Think about the last really expensive thing that you bought...that you really wanted. Got it? How many closes did it take before you said "Yes"? I ask that in seminars, in talks to large groups of salespeople...and the answer is nearly always "One" or "None". Why? Because you wanted it. There was no doubt in your mind. You were certain.
    .
    It all comes down to, "right message, to the right market, through the right medium...at the right time.

    Timing is crucial, but can also be engineered.

    Great post.

    Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Great post, I agree with you 100%.

    If no one responds to a sales message the first time, then as Ron already referred to... There's something off with either the market, the message, the medium, or the timing.

    But just to get the conversation moving, I'll play the Devils advocate, here. And take the other side... (the institutional advertising side)

    What do you say to the argument for familiarity? And (dare I say) "brand recognition?"


    If someone sees (or hears) your ad once, they might think "who are these people, and can I trust them?"

    Then by the second ad they might think " Oh, these guys again, maybe they're for real?"

    By the third time they might think "I guess they're legit, maybe I'll give them a try?


    Now remember, before you feed me to the lions... I already agree with the post, because I'm a direct response guy. (Born and raised, got the T-shirt and everything)

    I'm just curious to hear the response to the other side.
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    • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
      Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

      Great post, I agree with you 100%.

      If no one responds to a sales message the first time, then there's something wrong with either the market, the message, the medium, or as Ron already said... the timing.

      But just to get the conversation moving, I'll play the Devils advocate, here. And take the other side... (the institutional advertising side)

      What do you say to the argument for familiarity? And dare I say "brand recognition?"


      If someone sees (or hears) your ad once, they might think "who are these people, and can I trust them?"

      Then by the second ad they might think " Oh, these guys again, maybe they're for real?"

      By the third time they might think "I guess they're legit, maybe I'll give them a try?


      Now remember, before you feed me to the lions... I already agree with the post, because I'm a direct response guy. (Born and raised, got the T-shirt and everything)

      I'm just curious to hear the response to the other side.
      It all depends on where the prospect is in the buying cycle.

      If someone is unaware they even need a product to solve a problem they didn't know they had then they need to be made aware first that there is this thing and there is a solution for this thing.

      Once they move into the awareness phase they may not be ready yet to move to the next step of evaluation.

      It is during this awareness phase that the repetition of promoting content commences with the goal to get people to self identify that they are interested in the product or brand etc.

      The modern way to get brand recognition and segment your audience at the same time is via retargeting.

      This is where there is still a strong commitment from marketers to have multiple exposures to specific messages aimed at their now segmented audience.

      Each of these exposures encourage prospects to revisit content where there may not even be a sales message but in many cases there will start to be offers made.

      Sometimes people will convert on seeing these offered for the first time and others continue to be retargeted.

      In an "Offline" sense by the time most people have taken the time to visit your store they are already very close to the conversion stage which is why it should only take one interaction to secure the sale at this stage.

      Sometimes it takes more than one interaction because there maybe other decision makers involved or other factors that require further consideration.

      Even though it may seem as if there had been only one sales message presented and the sale is done the customer has had a different journey where they have been exposed to at least the concept or the product they are wanting to buy before.

      Any advertising only works well when it is part of a bigger strategy of moving customers through their buying journey.

      Best regards,

      Ozi
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

      Great post, I agree with you 100%.

      If no one responds to a sales message the first time, then as Ron already referred to... There's something off with either the market, the message, the medium, or the timing.

      But just to get the conversation moving, I'll play the Devils advocate, here. And take the other side... (the institutional advertising side)

      What do you say to the argument for familiarity? And (dare I say) "brand recognition?"
      Thanks for asking. There is absolutely a use for branding, even ads that are just promoting a brand. National branding ads create familiarity and acceptance in the mind of the consumer. In some sales like alcohol, that's enough. But in most sales at retail, the branding ads support the local direct response ads.

      For example, the Ford ads make us feel good about the Ford brand...but the local dealer then also advertises Fords, with prices and incentives...and a sale. And that's where the sale is made.

      Branding ads can even help local salespeople. I know an insurance salesman that has billboard ads all over town. They don't sell anything. But when he calls, people recognize his name, and trust has already been built...before he even meets the people.

      But I see suppliers that use branding ads to sell locally, and it produces nothing. The marketing people in companies may study branding, and think that it's the same whether you are the national company...or the local merchant.

      Branding ads make you feel good about the brand..and create an image in your mind when you think of the brand...Direct response ads make you buy.

      I know you know that.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    The more modern number is 7 touches... I would suggest it can be 10 to 15. Sure I think we all can agree that you can cold call and do a single call close... we also understand for that to happen you have to have the right service and message at the right time. The same goes for many other platforms of advertising. IE Direct Mail.

    How many times have we seen threads about lawn care here. Each and every time it comes down to the last guy wasn't on time or whatever, and poof your card is in the mail, and they call and hire you for the remainder of the year. It was a whole lot of things lining up in your favor to make this happen.

    In a comment I made here: http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...sows-seed.html I discuss the power of Branding, and what the action of creating multiple touches can and does for a business and its more "Now" advertising.

    Claude sure you ran a radio ad, and it was successful of the bat... forget the fact you have been in business for how long? forget the fact I am pretty sure you advertise your ass off. Forget the fact you mention you are 2 doors down form a pretty busy restaurant and I will bet pretty generously that your store front is branded better than decent. forget the fact you have people just short of making a day out of visiting your store to buy a vacuum.

    The ad was successful for a few reasons... #1 Probably weren't trying to sell heaters in August ( there was probably a weather threat pending, or one just passed ) #2 I will bet the message was decent ( of course ) #3 your branding efforts kicked in to overdrive - its not whether they knew where you are.. I will bet 80% of the people that came into buy, had already bought from you.

    There is yet another element that we have not discussed here in a while... word of mouth. This is supposedly ( being sarcastic ) the most influencial of all touches. One person hears or sees your ad, and then tells others where what and when to buy from you. OR the person hears or sees your ad and then asks others about you ( the person or business ) to verify from peers the trust worthiness.

    We have discussed "circle of influence" a couple of months ago.. word of mouth falls into that category. People will take at face value what their family and friends say above all else. Be it "don't go there" or "Oh yeah they are nice people" Testimonials works much in the same way, but I would suggest word of mouth blows testimonials out of the water.

    Word of mouth is obviously easiest when you have been in business for a while. When you try your best to go above and beyond in your daily business practices. When you do what you can to retain your customer base.

    Claude uses free labor as a way to maintain a relationship with his customers.. I do the same thing with my Satellite business. The truth is, its just good business. Its keeps a known buying customer base coming back to you over and over. And when the time comes, they WILL buy from you again.

    but back to the topic... I think it is simply to hard to track in an offline environment how many times your efforts have touched somebody. Online it becomes a bit easier... but even then, its not so simple.

    An example... I develop a lot of content that targets the many phases of a buyers cycle. I CAN track a person from start to finish as long as they are using the same computer to look at my site. ( Yes I am that anal in terms of tracking customer touches ) However, with all the data I have at my little fingertips... if the end user uses say a computer at home, and then their cel, and then their tablet, and then their computer at work... the trail thins real fast. - even retargeting fails at this level.

    The simple truth is, we really don't know how many touches it takes in an offline environment, between store signage and your website, and print ads, and direct mail, and truck lettering, and billboards, and yard signs, and radio ads, and tv ads, and this, and that, and the other.. let alone word of mouth.

    I strongly believe with offline, its not about putting your eggs into any one of the baskets I named above, its about diversity - as many of those as you can afford. Some are cheap, some are cheaper than you might imagine, and others.. down right expensive. For any one to work.. it takes the effort of the collective.

    And before I get blasted on this.. I know there are exceptions. Every year for jeeze 7 years now.. i have made this little old farmer a 2 x 3 foot yard sign double sided that says "DOZEN FARM FRESH EGGS $2.00" along with a bunch of 12 x 24 signs that have "Tomatoes" and "Squash" and "Flowers" and "Starters" and what ever else the old man grows... but even then as successful as he is ( his numbers are scarry actually ) is it truly the signs.. or is it the silent advertiser.. word of mouth?
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      The more modern number is 7 touches... I would suggest it can be 10 to 15. Sure I think we all can agree that you can cold call and do a single call close... we also understand for that to happen you have to have the right service and message at the right time. The same goes for many other platforms of advertising. IE Direct Mail.
      In my case, the heaters were mostly sold to new customers. But I am an established retail store, and that helped.

      I've heard it both ways...5 touches or 7. (Never 6!) But "touches" is a slightly different subject.

      When I do a sales presentation, 80% buy right then. So it's a one call close. But how many touches was it? My first phone call, a rescheduling phone call, a trip they take to my website, my greeting them at their office....small talk,,,,and then the presentation.

      You can have one visit and several touches. And like you said, see several ads, see my sign, talk to another customers....and then hear my ad....how many touches is that? One? Five?

      I've studied the art of picking up women, because it's literally just marketing...applied to getting laid. It takes maybe 5 or 7 touches before a woman feels comfortable enough to ..um...kiss.

      But it can all happen in one date. Three phone calls, then a date with three locations (maybe dinner, a movie, and drinks)...and you have five or six touches. One date.

      Selling is a process. I'm not talking about e-mails, or internet sales, I mean selling in person. That process may have a dozen steps (as an example), but you can cover all those steps in one call. It isn't the number of touches, it's the depth of rapport, the near perfect match of product and customer, the trust established.....for most salespeople, it takes multiple calls to accomplish all that. But a skilled salesperson can do it in a prospecting call and a sales call. It's one reason I always prospect for my own sales. I never farm it out. Why? Because half of the sale is made before I ever get there...both by me talking to the business owner personally, and by the information they gather about me and my offer before I ever show up. Lots of pre-selling goes into a one call close.

      So...how many touches is that? It depends on how you count them.

      But the reason for my initial post was that the vast majority of salespeople and advertisers mistake all this "Other contact" for "They have to see the ad five times" or "It takes five closes " or "It takes five sales presentations". It's a complete misunderstanding of hw the process works.

      One more example. You see a movie once and that's the most you'll ever get out of that movie. One view, and you decide whether you like it or now. Not 5 viewings...not 7. One.

      But that one viewing includes the previews you've seen..the reviews you've read....a friend telling you about the movie...and being a fan of the actors or the film series. And all that happens before you see the movie.

      So that's one viewing..but much may have led up to that one viewing.

      And my entire point is....these additional touches can be done before the main presentation..before the movie, the webinar, the presentation, the local direct response ad.

      And every repetition of the same presentation (in any form) gives progressively less response...although the cumulative response increases.

      Remember, I said Same Ad or Same presentation. And that's where the major misunderstanding is. If you read in a book "It takes seven repetitions to get a sale"...the author thought...and the reader thinks...it means seven repetitions of the same ad...the same presentation.

      And in personal selling, seven closes to get a sale? That's just bad selling.

      I watched a sales video selling a manual on giving seminars. I think it was $400. I didn't buy. I bought on the 22nd e-mail I got from that person. But why? Because the appeal she made on the 22nd e-mail perfectly matched what I wanted, and it made the sale. The previous 21 e-mails did not.

      So...was that 22 touches? Yes. But it was one presentation. Why? Because it took 22 different approaches before she hit the right one. And if she would have sent 22 of the same e-mail? Would that ever have worked? No.

      Different pitches. Not the same pitch 22 times. That's the key. And had she been in front of me, asking questions...it would have been one pitch, one sale ...because she would have hit the right cord.


      But when we read about "7 ads...before they buy" they think it means the same ad. And that's...just...wrong.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        I've studied the art of picking up women, because it's literally just marketing...applied to getting laid. It takes maybe 5 or 7 touches before a woman feels comfortable enough to ..um...kiss.

        But it can all happen in one date. Three phone calls, then a date with three locations (maybe dinner, a movie, and drinks)...and you have five or six touches. One date.
        .
        I believe those women work by appointment, don't they Claude?

        Understand, I have no "working" knowledge on the subject.

        Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasHillJr
    It really does depend. I found with cold sells, I had a success rate of about 1 in 8. With sales where I prime my prospects first I got it up to about 5 in 8. In regards to objections, take careful notes of objections made and you'll quickly realise there are a bunch of 'common' objections regarding your product/service. Try and develop ways to defuse these objections in your initial pitch.
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Well, this thread is giving a bit to think about.

    The last time I helped a residential landscape company with a lead generation, postcard mailer, we got a pretty good response (basic Demo, and Geo graphics - affluent homeowners in a particular zip code)

    At the time, I thought it was just the mailer that did all the heavy lifting. But after reading Savidge4's post I find myself rethinking that equation just a bit.

    Of course, I believe that the more places/exposure to your market, the better (you never really know when, and where your message might hit someone at exactly the right time)

    But now I'm wondering how many people got the mailer (contact #1)... then went online to find the company's website (contact #2)... then looked for reviews on google reviews, or yelp (contacts #3 / #4)... maybe even saw one of the company's trucks at some point (contact #?)...

    And only after all that contact, did they pick up the phone to call.

    Even though the mailer was the catalyst, now I'm not sure how good the response would have been, without all the auxiliary forces already in place, backing it up?

    Hmmm, something to ponder...
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  • Profile picture of the author girishdkale
    So, in your opinion how often should I as an email affiliate marketer email my list with the same offer? And at what frequency - everyday straight or every alternate day?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    I'd like to add something to this discussion that I haven't seen mentioned here, but it's oh, so, powerful.

    Your sales ability, copywriting and speaking skills can be average to mundane, yet...adding this one thing alone can double, triple, even quadruple your sales INSTANTLY - if you know how to look for it, find and use it.

    Claude the Magnificent, in one of his posts, talks about calling on prospects who have just purchased new carpet, to sell his vacuum cleaners. This group of prospects had a lot of things in common, the main one being protecting their new carpet investment.

    Claude leveraged an element of "groupthink" that all the prospects had in common, to sell to a segment of the market that hadn't been visible to him previously.

    Other powerful elements that exist in the groupthink mindset are, conformity, status and of course, ego.

    It can be difficult for a person who is steeped in groupthink to turn you down. They literally have to walk away from the pillars of their belief system, in order to say no to you.

    Could groupthink be used to increase sales for some of the examples posted in this thread?

    Ron
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

      I'd like to add something to this discussion that I haven't seen mentioned here, but it's oh, so, powerful.

      Your sales ability, copywriting and speaking skills can be average to mundane, yet...adding this one thing alone can double, triple, even quadruple your sales INSTANTLY - if you know how to look for it, find and use it.

      Claude the Magnificent, in one of his posts, talks about calling on prospects who have just purchased new carpet, to sell his vacuum cleaners. This group of prospects had a lot of things in common, the main one being protecting their new carpet investment.

      Claude leveraged an element of "groupthink" that all the prospects had in common, to sell to a segment of the market that hadn't been visible to him previously.

      Other powerful elements that exist in the groupthink mindset are, conformity, status and of course, ego.

      It can be difficult for a person who is steeped in groupthink to turn you down. They literally have to walk away from the pillars of their belief system, in order to say no to you.

      Could groupthink be used to increase sales for some of the examples posted in this thread?

      Ron
      Absolutely. And "Groupthink" is the right word here.

      I say in my talks that in your city, right now, there are between ten and a hundred people that are looking to buy what you sell. You just need to find them.

      But this "Groupthink" group is far larger. They are not looking to buy...but they are highly likely to buy. This common element can be almost anything....

      For example, when I was selling vacuum cleaners in people homes....it could be;

      1) They already bought something from an in home salesman.
      2) They financed something at the finance company I used, and their loan was about to be paid off.
      3) They just bought new carpet.
      4) They just bought a new home.
      5) They had pets in their home.
      6) They knew others that had bought from me.

      Any one of these things made them more likely to buy. But the last ten years or so, I almost exclusively talked to people who had bought a high end vacuum cleaner from an in home salesman several years earlier..or had bought something else from an in home salesman.
      Those people, and referrals from buyers pretty much was it for me...and past customers.

      Almost everyone bought. Because these people showed traits of people who were highly likely to buy...based on their past buying habits an maybe a few other factors...my closing percentage went from 41% (with an industry average of 30%) to over 80%....by simply selecting who I talk to.

      And although my sales skills were improving, the main change came when I started seeing people who had proven that they were highly likely to buy from me.

      This is a completely different thing from them looking to buy, or being in the market....or being at some point in their buying process.

      With selling local online marketing services, the "Highly likely to buy from me" factor is their previous advertising purchases. If they are used to running ads on radio, in direct mail, or Yellow Pages...they are almost certain to buy from me.

      Like I told my 21 year old consulting client...You don't want to be the guy convincing your prospect that advertising is a good thing. Or that they should be online. You don't want to be the first guy they buy from, you want to be the 15th.

      A friend of mine owned a Karate studio. He wanted new students, mostly young kids. I told him to talk to the parents who's kids are in gymnastics, baseball, and any other extra curricular activities. You don't want to be the one trying to convince the parents that their child should be in a group activity..you want to be the 5th activity. Because they are the kind of people that buy these kinds of classes.
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      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Absolutely. And "Groupthink" is the right word here.

        But this "Groupthink" group is far larger. They are not looking to buy...but they are highly likely to buy. This common element can be almost anything....
        Maybe I am nitpicky, but is groupthink really the right word?

        When I think of groupthink, I think of a group of say 20 people, maybe 5 people express an opinion, and due to social pressure the rest follows without much critical thinking.

        when I think of groupthink, it implies the prospect is bragging about having nice carpets, or is consulting pet owners about buying a vacuum cleaner. I mean, can't they come up with the conclusion independently?

        After all, Leibniz and Newton both came up with Calculus in isolation of each other. It shouldn't be too hard to come up with have pets=>pets poops on carpet=>carpet gets damaged=>have to pay for new carpets=> prevent this by buying vacuum cleaner from fat person with WWF moniker "Claude the magnificient"

        Or am I just reading too much into this????

        Any one of these things made them more likely to buy. But the last ten years or so, I almost exclusively talked to people who had bought a high end vacuum cleaner from an in home salesman several years earlier..or had bought something else from an in home salesman.
        Those people, and referrals from buyers pretty much was it for me...and past customers.

        Almost everyone bought. Because these people showed traits of people who were highly likely to buy...based on their past buying habits an maybe a few other factors...my closing percentage went from 41% (with an industry average of 30%) to over 80%....by simply selecting who I talk to.

        And although my sales skills were improving, the main change came when I started seeing people who had proven that they were highly likely to buy from me.

        This is a completely different thing from them looking to buy, or being in the market....or being at some point in their buying process.
        you spent several years figuring this out by keeping stats to know who was likely to buy. Am I right or wrong?

        Is there any ways to shortcut the process? If so, are sales skills (as we usually think of it) even the right thing to spend effort on? Is there any way to simply find out what makes these people more likely to buy prior?

        E.g. Ewen mentionned Target, but Target has a boatload of stores, and the data they generate is likely enormous, what can the average SMB owner by comparaison do???
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        • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
          Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

          Maybe I am nitpicky, but is groupthink really the right word?

          When I think of groupthink, I think of a group of say 20 people, maybe 5 people express an opinion, and due to social pressure the rest follows without much critical thinking.

          when I think of groupthink, it implies the prospect is bragging about having nice carpets, or is consulting pet owners about buying a vacuum cleaner. I mean, can't they come up with the conclusion independently?

          After all, Leibniz and Newton both came up with Calculus in isolation of each other. It shouldn't be too hard to come up with have pets=>pets poops on carpet=>carpet gets damaged=>have to pay for new carpets=> prevent this by buying vacuum cleaner from fat person with WWF moniker "Claude the magnificient"

          Or am I just reading too much into this????

          you spent several years figuring this out by keeping stats to know who was likely to buy. Am I right or wrong?

          Is there any ways to shortcut the process? If so, are sales skills (as we usually think of it) even the right thing to spend effort on? Is there any way to simply find out what makes these people more likely to buy prior?

          E.g. Ewen mentionned Target, but Target has a boatload of stores, and the data they generate is likely enormous, what can the average SMB owner by comparaison do???
          One target market we've been looking at is related to people who take cruises.

          I'm fortunate to have a said person on my team and up until I started to really deeply quiz them and get into some good discussions I thought they were just a demographic that I could easily identify and then target by well know means.

          Upon deeper digging I started to get to the gold.

          They weren't someone who'd taken a cruise or taken a couple of cruises.

          They have been on seven cruises in the last five years, one of which cost them and their travelling companion in excess of $40K each.

          Now although I've talked at length to them about their desires and habits and places they hang out etc. I am still yet to full build out the avatar to represent them.

          I'm getting close and now begin to understand the "groupthink" of the prospects I'm trying to reach.

          Now we commence targeting and creating content that the group is seeking to digest.

          Not so much because it is related to what I'm ultimately selling to this group but to help further identify and segment the group into smaller refined sections that have interests that are part of the larger group.

          It isn't a short term approach although there are some short term initiatives based on their recent activities.

          Where the business I'm working with comes in is in a specific section of this group.

          Using a variety of tech like some of the live chat software coupled with user tracking we look at where they are in the buying process and are gradually building out templates and triggers that follow proven buyer habits from the defined segment.

          The costs of doing this type of customer journey following are not out of the reach of small business but it does take some human resources to monitor and react to the automated components of the system.

          Your examination of - have a pet/pets - pet poops on carpet - have to replace carpet etc....is a simple understanding of the situation.

          It is much deeper than that.

          Much more about "how it feels to get old"

          There is a point where someone who once cared for you becomes someone you now need to care for.

          It is the thought about the future condition that is far deeper than a dirty carpet.

          The simplistic approach is target the pet owner and for a younger demographic that is probably the case.

          The older demographic has deeper psychological reasons for making a particular choice.

          Maybe I should rephrase that to be "everybody" has deeper psychological reasons that drive a specific buying decision.

          It is probably the skill to tune into that deeper reason, whether learned, observed or via intuition, that helps some succeed where others fail.

          Best regards,

          Ozi
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          • Profile picture of the author socialentry
            Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

            Your examination of - have a pet/pets - pet poops on carpet - have to replace carpet etc....is a simple understanding of the situation.

            It is much deeper than that.

            Much more about "how it feels to get old"

            There is a point where someone who once cared for you becomes someone you now need to care for.

            It is the thought about the future condition that is far deeper than a dirty carpet.

            The simplistic approach is target the pet owner and for a younger demographic that is probably the case.

            The older demographic has deeper psychological reasons for making a particular choice.

            Maybe I should rephrase that to be "everybody" has deeper psychological reasons that drive a specific buying decision.

            It is probably the skill to tune into that deeper reason, whether learned, observed or via intuition, that helps some succeed where others fail.

            Best regards,

            Ozi

            Is there any way to find out as a salesperson without the infrastructure?
            How do I bring this up?

            When I was selling, I could never tell 100% whether it was true or not X reason was why the prospect bought. At best, I could know when I screwed up and by a very time consuming process of A/B testing, improve my pitch, that's about it.

            I know the stock answer is "Qualify better" and sometimes the prospect did bring up something like "Well, I would feel pretty stupid if I did X and became the laughing stock amongst my peers" but it wasn't always the case.
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          • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
            Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

            One target market we've been looking at is related to people who take cruises.

            I'm fortunate to have a said person on my team and up until I started to really deeply quiz them and get into some good discussions I thought they were just a demographic that I could easily identify and then target by well know means.

            Upon deeper digging I started to get to the gold.

            They weren't someone who'd taken a cruise or taken a couple of cruises.

            They have been on seven cruises in the last five years, one of which cost them and their travelling companion in excess of $40K each.

            Now although I've talked at length to them about their desires and habits and places they hang out etc. I am still yet to full build out the avatar to represent them.

            I'm getting close and now begin to understand the "groupthink" of the prospects I'm trying to reach.

            Now we commence targeting and creating content that the group is seeking to digest.

            Not so much because it is related to what I'm ultimately selling to this group but to help further identify and segment the group into smaller refined sections that have interests that are part of the larger group.

            It isn't a short term approach although there are some short term initiatives based on their recent activities.

            Where the business I'm working with comes in is in a specific section of this group.

            Using a variety of tech like some of the live chat software coupled with user tracking we look at where they are in the buying process and are gradually building out templates and triggers that follow proven buyer habits from the defined segment.

            The costs of doing this type of customer journey following are not out of the reach of small business but it does take some human resources to monitor and react to the automated components of the system.

            Your examination of - have a pet/pets - pet poops on carpet - have to replace carpet etc....is a simple understanding of the situation.

            It is much deeper than that.

            Much more about "how it feels to get old"

            There is a point where someone who once cared for you becomes someone you now need to care for.

            It is the thought about the future condition that is far deeper than a dirty carpet.

            The simplistic approach is target the pet owner and for a younger demographic that is probably the case.

            The older demographic has deeper psychological reasons for making a particular choice.

            Maybe I should rephrase that to be "everybody" has deeper psychological reasons that drive a specific buying decision.

            It is probably the skill to tune into that deeper reason, whether learned, observed or via intuition, that helps some succeed where others fail.

            Best regards,

            Ozi
            Sharp observations, Ozi.

            A "groupthink" group doesn't operate in isolation. Those elderly "cruisers" know others just like themselves.

            A group that on the surface appears to be 40 in number, may in reality, be 400. You have to dig down and find out what's going on.

            Rookie salesman "scratch the surface" with a few sales and move on, thinking they've "tapped the well".

            I did that for many years.

            I can tell you without a doubt, it cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars.

            I had to get hit over the head to have my eyes opened.

            With regards to positioning yourself...

            People will talk and give you the information you need, but you have to ask. Listen. Make notes. Let them do the talking.

            Stay in touch. Ask questions often... because things change.

            At some point, you'll be in a position to steer purchase decisions along with the ever so important timing of those purchases.

            And the money will flow.

            And it will be the easiest money you have ever made.

            Ron
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

          Maybe I am nitpicky, but is groupthink really the right word?

          When I think of groupthink, I think of a group of say 20 people, maybe 5 people express an opinion, and due to social pressure the rest follows without much critical thinking.

          when I think of groupthink, it implies the prospect is bragging about having nice carpets, or is consulting pet owners about buying a vacuum cleaner. I mean, can't they come up with the conclusion independently?


          Or am I just reading too much into this????
          "Groupthink" is a good word, but it could also be "groupaction" or "Groupcondition"...and commonality that means they are more likely to buy what you sell.

          When I talk about beiple being "Highly likely prospects", these people have te condition(s) that make selling far more likely. But no, most have nevr made the connection. In fact, making the connection may be impossible.
          For example, one huge condition that multiplied my sales was if they had bought something else from an in home salesperson...or better yet, a vacuum cleaner bought from an in home salesperson. They would never think "I have a 4 year old Kirby. I need a new expensive vacuum cleaner"...and yet, these wee my easiest sales. Why? They were used to buying expensive vacuum cleaners from people knocking on their door. It had become accepted...even expected.


          Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

          you spent several years figuring this out by keeping stats to know who was likely to buy. Am I right or wrong?

          Is there any ways to shortcut the process? If so, are sales skills (as we usually think of it) even the right thing to spend effort on? Is there any way to simply find out what makes these people more likely to buy prior?
          It took several years before I realized that there was a pattern. I didn't even see it.

          Sure there are shortcuts. What is the buying history of the customer? Have they bought what you sell before? Then they are far more likely to buy again. Have they bought something in the past that indicated that they would buy what you sell? Maybe wht you sell augments what they bought. And if they have bought...the way you sell, that's a big plus too.

          For example, you put on seminars to sell a course. Who would you mail to? Seminar attendees would be smart. And seminar attendees that bought something there would be a list worth it's weight in gold. Why? Because they are used to attending seminars and buying something. They are literally preconditioned to buy.

          But none of this replaces sales training. I learned that the hard way. I would create these prospect lists of people who wre highly likely to buy....and give the leads to my sales reps. They would only sell the same percentage as usual. Why? They had no concept of how the person's position-condition-buying history made the sale easier. And so, they would turn a reason to buy...into a buying objection. So you need sales training, so you don't waste these great leads.

          Here's an example...one that makes me grit my teeth every time I think of it.

          I sent a rep to a woman's home that bought a high end vacuum 5 years ago.

          He came back to the office with this story;
          "There's no way she was going to buy, so I didn't ask her to. She had a 5 year old vacuum cleaner (one that cost $1,500), and 5 years before that, she bought a ($1,500) vacuum cleaner....and 5 years before that...."

          I hope you get the idea

          And I asked the training class. "Anyone see a pattern?" Nobody did.

          I said "She has proven to us, that every 5 years she buys a new high end vacuum cleaner...without fail...no matter the brand, no matter who sells it. She was ready. It was time for her to buy again. In fact, you literally would have to talk her out of it, and you did".


          If you sell shoes, would you want a list of people who have no shoes? Not me. I want a list of people who own 50 pairs of shoes. Why? Because they are in the habit of buying shoes.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
          Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

          "Claude the magnificient"
          I see that you didn't capitalize the "M" for Magnificent.

          A small thing, perhaps, but...was that an intentional, independent decision or part of a larger "groupthink" agenda?

          Claude has special powers which allow him to remote view into the very bowels of this forum.

          A place where even the mods refuse to tread!

          Nothing escapes his 4D nomenclature

          Rest assured...the TRUTH will be known!

          Ron
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

            I see that you didn't capitalize the "M" for Magnificent.

            A small thing, perhaps, but...was that an intentional, independent decision or part of a larger "groupthink" agenda?

            Claude has special powers which allow him to remote view into the very bowels of this forum.

            A place where even the mods refuse to tread!

            Nothing escapes his 4D nomenclature

            Rest assured...the TRUTH will be known!

            Ron

            That's "MISTER Claude The Magnificent" to you guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author biggame5
    To me this really depends on the since of urgency some one has for the product you are offering. For example Ice would sell great in florida but poorly in Alaska or Antarctica.

    If the need is great it will sell right away.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Ron brings up an excellent yet massively underestimated point,
    about timing.

    Peter brought it to our attention recently about it.

    Target have done it so well based on buying patterns inside their customer list.

    If you have bought x and y product, you will most likely buy z product within a certain time frame.

    No change of offer or anything the buyer couldn't get elsewhere,
    just putting the product offer in front of people when they are most likely to buy.

    Target was in the news when a father complained to them for
    sending baby product mailers to his daughter living at home.

    Target knew she was pregnant before her dad did even though
    they were living under the same roof!

    If I ran a restaurant I would be putting out an offer to birthday people over 35 and their friends because they mostly dine out to celebrate. Done it. Had 11 bookings in 7 days for $38.

    I've done this to sell women's leggings by running a competition to win a pair.

    Put the offer to only those who had a birthday coming up.
    Had just under 500 sign up over 7 days.

    You can sell cars by timing too.

    I'll leave how you do it for now.

    Best,
    Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    With all of this group sex thing going on I hope your getting offspring results and money in your skyrocket for the effort. Does sound mighty complicated for this time of morning, maybe time for another coffee.
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    | > Choosing to go off the grid for a while to focus on family, work and life in general. Have a great 2020 < |
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

      With all of this group sex thing going on I hope your getting offspring results and money in your skyrocket for the effort. Does sound mighty complicated for this time of morning, maybe time for another coffee.
      Big Frank, a master...of the trade was put in charge of that group.
      However, he was banned by the mods, before he could get everyone to come together.
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