This is my fourth note in a continuing series discussing the five considerations that sales reps must employ when selling in today’s world. They are pull versus push marketing, media choices, disciplined timing, selling cycles and buying cycles. Today, we’ll look at disciplined timing.
Discipline is necessary when communicating, whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly or another interval. Set a schedule and stick with it.
A key to successful selling is to connect with your prospect or customer when they have a challenge, problem or issue that they are acutely aware of. If you contact them too soon, they may not realize that they need your solution. Contact them too late and they’ve already addressed their problem with your competitor’s offering. So how can you make sure your prospect thinks of you exactly when they are faced with a problem you can solve?
The answer is to regularly communicate with your market using disciplined campaigns. This means developing a schedule of advertising, blogs, emails, phone calls and other media communications to stay in front of your target audience. The interval between communications should be based on the average length of time it takes for your message to fade. The goal is to not let your message fade completely before it is reinforced with another communication.
For instance, if your product is a commodity with lots of competitors, you may need to run a regular ad campaign to keep your brand “top of mind.” This may require many ad spots across multiple media – TV, print, radio, internet, etc. – several times a day or several times a week. If your offering is an innovative, high-value technical product, then your market may be smaller and require targeted email and phone campaigns that touch your prospects only once every month or six weeks.
The important thing to remember is that your message must reach your prospect when they are entering their buying cycle. Since you cannot control when that will be, maintain a regular, disciplined timing for your communications. And, keep it up – studies show that you often need to touch a prospect 8-12 times before they are receptive to your overtures.
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