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June 29, 2022

The “It Takes 5 Presentations To Make A Sale” Myth. Why One Call Closing Works

We have all heard “It takes 5 attempts to sell before they buy”. Sometimes it’s “5 closes” or “5 visits” or “5 prospecting calls”. But it’s always told as though it were Gospel. It isn’t. It’s a Myth.

It came out of the advertising business.

Seeing advertising..seeing a band name, isn’t the same as giving a full blown presentation. It isn’t the same at all.

Remember the gospel that “It takes 5 (or 7…or 15) presentations to make your average sale.”?

That originally came from the 1950s. It was an advertising agency, with a focus group. They found that it took an average of 5 impressions before the subjects remembered a brand name. It wasn’t until they bought…just remembered the brand name.

And,of course…that “5 impressions to remember a brand name” got repeated so many times, that it also because “5 contacts before an appointment” and “5 presentations before a sale”.

But we aren’t talking about memorizing a brand name. We are talking about buying something. With the exception of highly complicated sales that take multiple visits to explain…and get approvals..and do analysis….and have long approval processes……most sales happen in one call.

A sales presentation is like watching a great movie. How many times do you watch a movie before you decide if you like it? Five? Ten times? No. Once. Always.

Have you ever watched a truly scary movie? Were you as scared the second time you watched the movie? No. The fifth time? Not at all.

How many times do you need to hear a great joke, before you laugh? Once. And do you laugh harder the fifth time you hear it? Nope. You probably don’t laugh at all.

And it is the same with selling. the peak of interest is always at the first time you see the offer. Always. Interest never increases with subsequent visits. It always goes down.

For the last 5 years, selling my local online service, I only get two responses.

80% of the time, they say “That’s great. Let’s get started!”, and 20% of the time, they say “That’s great we are definitely going to do this…just as soon as….”. The 20% group? They never buy. I’ve tried. I’m convinced, by actual records, that if I kept after that 20%…I would eventually get another 2-3%. My time is far better spent, just ignoring them.

Does a doctor ever hear”I want to think about it”? Almost never. Why? Because he is a trusted authority figure. Get that? Stop being a pitchman, and start being a trusted authority figure.

Believe it or not, you can even position yourself that way…cold calling. But it’s easier to craft with referrals.

“They don’t buy until the fifth attempt” is a myth. Selling at high levels is complicated.

But if only one person does it…that means it can be done.

Want to know more? My book One Call Closing will dramatically shorten the learning curve.