This was going to be a straightforward article. I wanted to explain that selling to a new prospect takes time. That you shouldn’t give up if the first or second contact doesn’t produce the results you need. You need to be persistent to boost your sales.
I found some great stats that go like this:
- 2% of sales are made on the first contact
- 3% of sales are made on the second contact
- 5% of sales are made on the third contact
- 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
- 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact.
Brilliant! These fit neatly with my theory that contacts need to get to know you before they commit to a sale. I’ve seen these stats everywhere. I just needed to check the quoted source: National Sales Executive Association.
And that’s where it all went horribly wrong. I couldn’t find the source anywhere…
The stats are all over social media and have even crept into some very legitimate publications.
I finally tracked down the source… Social Media, where else!
Recognise it? Particularly the spelling error of fourth? I’m not sure which is more incredible – pretending to be a bogus organisation, or actually believing “48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect”.
It was only by searching “80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact” that I could shed light on these bogus stats. Up popped this terrific article by Stewart Rodgers.
It seems I wasn’t the only one checking their resources. Just like me, Stewart had taken under 5 minutes to realise the National Sales Executive Association was bogus. Stewart’s article was written in 2014.
Why are these bogus sales stats still so persistent?
I downloaded a freebie only yesterday peddling these statistics. A freebie from a respected Business Coach. I’m going to spare her some blushes and not mention any names…
I guess the stats around taking several contacts to make a sale seem believable. The truth is it depends it depends on your industry.
Yesterday I needed to replace my washing machine. The drum had started making those truly scary noises that suggested spilling water and dirty clothing all over the kitchen floor. Did it take more than 5 contacts? No way. I searched Google for washing machines. Found a couple of reputable looking sites. Checked the site could deliver AND take away my old machine. Flicked between a few sites to make sure the price looked good. Went back and completed my purchase. Three visits max and all in the space of 30 minutes.
So all I can conclude is that it depends. If you sell washing machines, people replace then very quickly. No-one wants dirty washing piling up whilst they make a decision!
Different industries will have their own unique approaches. It’s a case of figuring out what’s best for your own business. Just don’t believe the hype and fall for those bogus sales stats!