We've all heard multiple versions of the “it takes 6 touches before a customer will buy from you” saying. But how true is it?
In my experience it's very true.
But it's also very misleading.
You see, it kind of gives the impression that all you need to do to win a client is communicate with them in some way 6 times.
But if you got the same advertising flyer from someone 6 times would it make you more likely to buy? Or if you met the same person at a networking event 6 times, but your conversation never got beyond what they did?
To make an real impact on a client, rather than 6 (or more) random, unplanned or ad-hoc communications, you need a planned sequence of communications with each one furthering your relationship with them.
You need a campaign.
You can only really run campaigns for your highest potential clients. They require detailed thought, planning and preparation. You must think through what your clients need to know and feel about you before they'll feel comfortable hiring you (or initially meeting with you if that's the goal of your campaign). They you need to deliver a series of communications which focus on addressing each of these “know and feels”.
A classic example would be a direct mail campaign.
Imagine you have a prospect list which includes ten really high value potential clients. Winning work with any of those ten could start a relationship which could set you up for life.
Unfortunately, you don't know any of them. You've searched, but you can't find anyone you know who could refer you in to them. So you're considering writing or calling them directly.
Rather than a one-off letter which has a small chance of being read and acted upon (even with great copywriting) you should instead create a tailored campaign for each of the key clients.
Create a sequence of letters – each demonstrating something you need them to know before they'll be comfortable meeting with you. And each adding value.
For example, in your first letter you could send them a recent whitepaper you've written highlighting your expertise in an area you believe they need to focus on.
The next could include some case studies – each one providing useful information while showing you've done this before and are a safe pair of hands.
The next could be a link to an online video where you talk about how to make results from improvements in the area actually stick. Here they'll get a sense of your personality and a feeling for whether they'll be able to work with you.
The next could be some research you've done, a selection of related articles, etc.
Each letter includes something of high value to the potential client. But each item of value also doubles as a proof point that you're an expert in your field, that you get results, that you'd be great to work with – whatever it is you want them to know.
Now using a campaign like this is relatively high cost. Not exorbitant, and you should have a lot of material you can reuse for it. But it does require thought and planning.
But for your very high potential clients, the ideal ones you really want to work with, it's well worth it. If you were on the receiving end of such a campaign, would you be more likely to respond to it than a series of random sales-oriented letters or cold calls? I'm sure you would – and so will your clients.