How Many Touches to Get an Appointment? How Many to Make the Sale?

WhatsApp Image 2024-02-14 at 10.17.40 AM

Had a client ask me the latest stats on how many “touches” it takes to make a sale in 2024.  

We’ll answer this one but allow us to turn it into 2 questions: 

  1. How many touches does it take to get prospects attention & schedule a first appointment? A marketing question. 
  1. How many touches does it take to make a sale? A sales question. 

Bear with me on the answer . . . so many “addendums” to the answer 

  1.   How many touches does it take to get prospects attention & schedule a first appointment? A marketing question. 

    According to the RAIN group the simple answer is, ”more than most people think!” According to their Top Performance in Sales Prospecting research, it takes an average of 8 touches to get an initial meeting (or other conversion) with a new prospect. The chart above suggests 7 touches. To get the meeting - not make the sale. No question it’s a lot of work! 

      It would be great to be able to answer the sales question so easily . . . 

    1. How many meetings with the prospect does it take (once you have been granted that initial appointment) to close the sale? 

     One thing is certain: If you follow the prospect’s system for buying it will take a lot longer to make a sale than if you had a system for selling of your own.  

    Here’s a down & dirty snapshot of the Prospect’s System for Buying: 5 Steps! 

    1. Step 1: The prospect meets with you (genuinely interested or not . . often misleading you) 
    1. Step 2: The prospect separates you from your information (affectionately called The Dump) 
    1. Step 3: The prospect says they LOVE your product/service/solution (more misleading of you) 
    1. Step 4: The prospect says they’ll think it over (or gives some other stall or objection in order to not commit) 
    1. Step 5: You Chase the prospect for a decision (. . .but she has caller I.D & prefers to Ghost you rather than be straight with you in case she needs to do this again in 6 to 12 more months) 

      That is one HELLOFA System for buying – it’s amazingly effective. What makes it so effective? Two words: IT WORKS. Plain & simple our prospects & customers use a system for buying from us that is designed to keep them in control. Gives them all the leverage & lots of it. Yes, they are in control.  

    So how do we level the playing field? How do we keep their system in check? It starts with having a system of your own – a Selling System. 

    We like our system. It works. But so do a lot of selling systems. Here’s the Sales Coaches’ Corner Selling System at a glance: 

    1. People Skills: Help people become comfortable with you. BTW, It would behoove you to have some E.Q. at your disposal – emotional quotient – link here for a comparison:

    1. Ground Rules: Aka setting & managing expectations in sales. This helps us get to reality in sales & even suggests that we “move on” if it is clear a deal will not be made. 
    1. Qualifying Questions: We qualify opportunities by asking questions to determine the prospects: 
    1.   PAIN (the prospects problem that you solve) 
    1.   Budget (the target price you discuss or “money conversation” you have before quoting) 
    1.   Decision making process (understanding who, who else & how the prospect makes decisions) 
    1. Quote/Presentation/Solution: The quote is the last step in our selling system. Makes sense. Why would you do a quote before you have PAIN, Budget & Decision? You’d be surprised how many salespeople give quotes to whoever wants one, whenever they want one. Quotes that are NOT qualified 

      Our understanding & implementation of Ground Rules & Qualifying Questions is critical to our ability to close sales. 

      If it takes 7-8 touches to get the appointment, now we can start managing expectations & asking good qualifying questions to move the deal forward. Even if it takes another 7-8 “touches” or “meetings” at least by managing expectations we will understand their tendencies every step of the way.  It may NOT shorten the sales cycle but at least we will not be surprised along the way & we can “predict” what will happen based on the prospect’s behavior/activities. 

      Often, we can take a 1-year sales cycle & shorten it to 12 months. This sounds funny . . .  

      1-year of not knowing what they are doing – hoping they buy 

      Or 12 months of managing expectations, asking good questions, knowing what is happening – every step along the way. Same amount of time but wouldn’t you prefer 12 months of knowing vs. 1-year of hoping? 

      Me too.  

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    Dave Tear

    Dave is passionate about selling & helping others understand the sales process. Whether a client company has a 5 person sales team or a 300 person National sales force, Dave can Coach & Train them to be the best in their industry.
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