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June 28, 2022

“It Takes Five Closing Attempts Before You Get A Sale”. Where It Came From, Why It’s A Myth, And When It’s True…Continued.

In response to my last post “It Takes Five Closing Attempts Before You Get A Sale”. Where It Came From, Why It’s A Myth, And When It’s True”  I had a particularly intelligent response. This person said that they had read that it was “7 touches”, not 5…and that  it could be far more, depending on how we advertised, how often the buyer had seen our ads, and how familiar they were with our name.  This is my response.


I’ve heard it both ways…5 touches or 7. (Never 6!) But “touches” is a slightly different subject.

When I do an in person sales presentation, (Selling my local online marketing service) 80% buy right then. So it’s a one call close. But how many touches was it? My first phone call, a rescheduling phone call, a trip they take to my website, my greeting them at their office….small talk,,,,and then the presentation.

You can have one visit and several touches. And like you said, see several ads, see my sign, talk to another customers….and then hear my ad….how many touches is that? One? Five?

I’ve studied the art of picking up women, because it’s literally just marketing…applied to getting laid. It takes maybe 5 or 7 touches before a woman feels comfortable enough to ..um…kiss.

But it can all happen in one date. Three phone calls, then a date with three locations (maybe dinner, a movie, and drinks)…and you have five or six touches. One date.

Selling is a process. I’m not talking about e-mails, or internet sales, I mean selling in person. That process may have a dozen steps (as an example), but you can cover all those steps in one call. It isn’t the number of touches, it’s the depth of rapport, the near perfect match of product and customer, the trust established…..for most salespeople, it takes multiple calls to accomplish all that. But a skilled salesperson can do it in a prospecting call and a sales call. It’s one reason I always prospect for my own sales. I never farm it out. Why? Because half of the sale is made before I ever get there…both by me talking to the business owner personally, and by the information they gather about me and my offer before I ever show up. Lots of pre-selling goes into a one call close.

So…how many touches is that? It depends on how you count them.

But the reason for my initial post was that the vast majority of salespeople and advertisers mistake all this “Other contact” for “They have to see the ad five times” or “It takes five closes ” or “It takes five sales presentations”. It’s a complete misunderstanding of hw the process works.

One more example. You see a movie once and that’s the most you’ll ever get out of that movie. One view, and you decide whether you like it or now. Not 5 viewings…not 7. One.

But that one viewing includes the previews you’ve seen..the reviews you’ve read….a friend telling you about the movie…and being a fan of the actors or the film series. And all that happens before you see the movie.

So that’s one viewing..but much may have led up to that one viewing.

And my entire point is….these additional touches can be done before the main presentation..before the movie, the webinar, the presentation, the local direct response ad.

And every repetition of the same presentation (in any form) gives progressively less response…although the cumulative response increases.

Remember, I said Same Ad or Same presentation. And that’s where the major misunderstanding is. If you read in a book “It takes seven repetitions to get a sale”…the author thought…and the reader thinks…it means seven repetitions of the same ad…the same presentation.

And in personal selling, seven closes to get a sale? That’s just bad selling.

I watched a sales video selling a manual on giving seminars. I think it was $400. I didn’t buy. I bought on the 22nd e-mail I got from that person. But why? Because the appeal she made on the 22nd e-mail perfectly matched what I wanted, and it made the sale. The previous 21 e-mails did not.

So…was that 22 touches? Yes. But it was one presentation. Why? Because it took 22 different approaches before she hit the right one. And if she would have sent 22 of the same e-mail? Would that ever have worked? No.

Different pitches. Not the same pitch 22 times. That’s the key. And had she been in front of me, asking questions…it would have been one pitch, one sale …because she would have hit the right cord.

But when we read about “7 ads…before they buy” they think it means the same ad. And that’s…just…wrong.

Of course, we make a case for doing everything in one call, including plenty of pre-call preparation…in my book One Call Closing.