Only 2% of sales are made on the first contact. After the second contact that number jumps to 3%. After the third it is 5%. It then doubles to 10% after the fourth contact. A whopping 80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th contact. The reverse of these numbers is very telling also. 48% of sales people never follow up with a contact. 25% stop after the second contact. 12% stop after the third contact and only 10% make more than 3 contacts with a lead.
These numbers teach us a valuable lesson. Sales comes to those who are persistent. The more often we contact our leads, the higher the probability we can make a sell. In my experience, this is the most important factor for sales people to experience success. Even if the script is poor or the technique is wrong, I have seen sales made through persistency alone.
So, if you are like I was, and you are saying, “Hey, I am pretty smart and I can articulate my position pretty well. I know I can sell more but what else can I do?” The missing piece I have discovered and have helped many clients understand is calling on your clients enough times to make them respond. The more I contacted my leads the more sales I made, pretty simple.
These numbers have another lesson to teach us. I was curious what the closing percentage was for each contact between 5 and 12. There is a lot of contacts between the 5th and the 12th and I was curious which one of those contacts is the magic one. In order to find this information, I reached out to the National Sales Executive Association. I discovered they don’t exist. In fact, with a little more investigating, I discovered the numbers I just gave you are completely bogus. The study was never done. At this point most people would throw the previous lesson away and starting questioning whether being persistent with contacts really makes a difference.
There is a valuable lesson for us to learn. We often throw away a valid lesson because of fraud or an inability to quantify it. Do not make this mistake. Even without this study, I have spoken with hundreds and coached hundreds of people to success based on the fact persistency creates sales. You can find it in many areas of our lives not just sales. Successful people talk about their innate ability to keep pushing when others chose to stop. They would just keep moving towards their goal regardless of the results they were getting. The vast majority of people will stop when the going gets tough.
Even with the knowledge of these numbers being made up, I still believe they are pretty close to reality and you should use them to build your belief in the message that persistency will create sales.
One final point, I have not talked about the age of, how many people have called them before you or who the lead actually is. Really, any of the countless ways I have heard people rate the quality of their leads. I have not mentioned them, because they can all be overcome by your persistency in calling your leads on a regular basis. Even cold leads can be successfully used, if you are persistent.
Thank you for your time and I hope you have a great day.