Timing is crucial to successful marketing. If you get the timing wrong, you can’t get your prospects’ attention. But if you get it right, you’ll see your revenue grow continuously. So the question is; do you know when the best time is to help customers make their first purchase?
Take the case of puppy love. Kids always promise to take care of the dog, and shower it with the TLC every loveable lapdog need to grow into a good doggie. At first, they can’t get enough of the cuddly puppy and make good on their promises to feed, walk and brush the dog. As the weeks turn into months, the daily care of the dog falls to Mom and Dad.
This is called “new puppy syndrome, when the puppy first comes into the house, and its owner is enthusiastic and will do anything for it. If you’ve ever owned a dog, you know what I’m talking about.
You potential customers experience the new puppy syndrome with regard to 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.
However, your prospects’ interest fades a bit every day that passes. They can go from highly motivated to mildly interested or not interested at all in a short time span.
There are two ways to help potential customers become actual customers with your marketing strategy. The 7 to 10 days after they became a qualified lead is the time you want to follow up with additional information and make an offer they can’t refuse. This is your first move.
For example, I have a friend who promotes his specialized athletic training business through talks to coaches, health professionals and other trainers. His talks and business generates a lot of interest, and he collects contact information from many people during these events.
If you think that he can afford to wait to reach out to the contacts he makes at these events, you’re wrong! Since these folks are primed to become clients and customers of his, he should reach out immediately, building on the momentum of their introduction. His new contacts would be really impressed find an email or free guide, or offer waiting for them when they return to their offices.
Giving new contacts and potential customers helpful information along with a “new prospect offer” they can’t refuse is a great way to help them remember you. Reach out once a day or once every other day for the first 7 to 10 days after you’ve gotten their contact information. By building on this momentum, your prospects will remember you and you’ll convert more leads to clients.
It may seem like this is a hard-sell approach – I know you’re thinking, “Three to seven contacts per week? That’s way too many! I’ll scare them off. The truth is, it’s only a hard-sell if you make it a hard sell. By staying present in their inbox you’re staying present in their mind.
If you wait a week or more to follow-up with potential customers, and they’ll have forgotten about what got them excited, and when they get your note, they’ll have lost their initial enthusiasm and curiosity.
In truth there is no exact right number of times to contact new prospects the first week they become qualified leads. You’ll simply have to test it out yourself, as each business and industry, as well as potential customer, will be a little different. It goes without say that you don’t want to be annoying or too pushy, but 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 best; you may find that the seasonal cycle or the events critical to your industry impacts the results with your customers. For example, immediate follow-up is critical when purchasing decisions are event-driven.
My friend the trainer can’t wait to contact a new prospect because the athletes he works with are training for specific competitive events, so if he doesn’t confirm a sale of his services soon enough, the event will have passed and he’ll have lost the sale.
Now your products may not be event-driven, like in the case of a financial advisor, no single event will prompt your prospects to pick a new one. So if you don’t have time as an instigator, what can you do?
It’s crucial to keep the conversation going, and to continue to provide them with helpful ideas a couple of times a month. Some customers will stay interested but not buy anything for weeks or months. It’s important to continue to educate them about your business and your services, eventually, you’ll increase their perception of need and convert them to clients.
So if you want to convert more potential customers into actual customers, make sure to follow-up frequently during the first 7-10 days, and then regularly each week or every other week until you make the sale. You can take advantage of the “new puppy syndrome,” and double your sales by helping your customers get what they want when they want it.
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