The Next 100 Days invited Dan Harrison from Customers On Tap, who is carving out a solid reputation in the field of customer acquisition. He starts by discussing a concept which covers the time needed to build rapport and convert a prospect into a customer.
The Magic 7 Hours
It’s all about relationships. It comes from work that Google did. How much time you need to spend with prospects before they spend money.
So if you are trying to attract new customers and they have never heard of your before, and they have no relationship with you already. Then it takes approximately 7 HOURS of exposure to you and your content before they feel enough rapport and enough trust before they spend with you.
Google have commissioned research into “Moments of Truth”. Included in that research were the number of touches where you are seeing someone’s content in a number of different places, such as email and social media.
Irrespective of numbers, the whole concept is that it takes a discrete amount of time consuming your content before they will buy from you. It is an idea that gives you a plan of structuring the amount and type of content you create and distribute.
So how many communications before someone buys? Dan has completed research with his own customers that has told him that the average number of (events) communications is NINE before the prospect becomes a buyer. It does depend on service.
Follow up is critical! It is not just the initial impression, but all the other things that happen afterwards to build up that rapport, to get the transaction.
UK prospects are more reserved, we like to take our time to get to know someone, we are more curious than perhaps peoples are elsewhere. It makes common sense.
Repetition is fundamental to getting your message across. Direct marketers have long understood that a 3 mailing campaign will almost always outperform a single mailing.
Dan tracked people’s interactions by time in his CRM system. Everything is logged. He counted the number of events before a transaction took place.
We are in a digital age where business owners are seduced by automation, passive income and very hands off approaches to their business. The basic concept of building a relationship and having a PERSONAL rapport with someone BEFORE they buy, has been forgotten in favour of ‘how may Facebook ads can I have, how many funnels can I do, how many emails can I send’. This is a pursuit of automation rather than the bit that works.
What sort of events/relationships are working within that 7 HOURS?
Dan notes the most important ‘events’ or touch-points in that seven hours are:
- Speaking to someone on the PHONE.
- Speaking to someone at an event, as exhibitor or attendee.
- Video content, such as recording a training video.
- Content sent by email and social media and then INTERACTING with someone on email or social media. Responding to an email for example.
They add up and there is a CUMULATIVE effect. The lesson for your business is to allow your customers to talk to you more.
Sending out broadcast Twitter tweets and Facebook posts when it was NOVEL did work. Now you are in a sea of people doing exactly the same. Dan argues it worked because it was novel NOT because it was effective.
In the meantime, relationships have not changed in the slightest. It is just different ways to do that. If I send messages and people have consumed the content AND then they meet you at an event or exhibition, then that relationship is instantly reinforced by your social content.
Dan says everything has to act together – the online with the offline (such as telephone contact).
How does the relationship work between number of events and length of time? Dan says it is impossible to capture the actual time as that is driven by the consumer, is not helpful as it detracts from trying to create the best interaction with that person.
Were there particular patterns that got people to the sale QUICKER?
Dan said yes. 90% plus of his sales came from SOMEONE HE KNEW OF FROM A PREVIOUS INTERACTION!
People buy from people. The buy from people they like.
Marketing should not be about attracting as many people as possible, but attracting the right people so you can have an ongoing relationship with them. You will polarise to a degree, so you will ATTRACT people who are RIGHT for you and REPEL people who are WRONG for you.
How would Dan advise you to get people to KNOW THEM?
Look at your own sales process. If they usually have a sales meeting with you and that meeting is the event that generally leads to a sale, then EVERYTHING you do should be focused on driving people to that sales meeting.
What amplifies this? Makes it more likely to happen?
- A TELEPHONE CALL
- DOING THEM A BIG FAVOUR, generally being very helpful to impress them
- This is then reinforced by other impressions and leads people to becoming a customer.
The telephone conversation AND impressing people help you BUILD RAPPORT.
So if you need a person to engage in a telephone call, the focus should be on that. But people are reluctant to be sold to. If they know that they will get something tangible from that PHONE CALL, such as new ideas for their business strategies, whilst ALSO understanding that they’ll learn how else to get more information from you, then the number of people signing up for that call will be massively higher.
Dan’s TIPS ON the offer of a PHONE CALL…
Dan puts the offer of the telephone call on the THANK YOU page.
Upfront, Dan has a lead magnet. Something that attracts attention and is USEFUL to someone. That is easy for someone to digest. Have a look at, flick through. A phone call has to be scheduled and has to happen. Some people would not particularly enjoy or want at that time. Offering a phone call upfront is likely to be considered a sales call, whereas the lead magnet is a non-confrontational approach to start the process.
Having signed up for the lead magnet, the offer of the call THEN comes on the Thank You page. If this is not taken up, you can remind them that it exists in future emails/communications.
Dan would not offer the call upfront
Reminders. Do them.
Lead Magnet – Thank You Page – Emails that demonstrate expertise – Phone Call positioned now is more likely to be received positively because you have established your expertise and authority.
Any more building building block?
- To avoid the confrontational nature of a telephone call:
- Encourage someone an email so you can give them something back via email.
- Send them something in the post.
- Send something nice and genuine in the post.
- Such as a nice piece of cake, with a range of testimonials.
We are in a society where we are focused on what we can GET rather than on what we can GIVE. So sending CAKE, or something similar, is a random act of kindness. It creates a very favourable impression.
Not quite GIVERS GAIN. It is GIVERS NOT QUITE EXPECTING GAIN.
The human being is an emotional being. Plan in these random acts of kindness. It is such a good way of attracting and converting a customer.
From a customer’s perspective,
- they have never heard of you,
- they don’t know if you can help,
- they not entirely sure what you can do,
The strategy is…
- make it clear what you do
- make it clear how you can help
- here are examples of how we helped other people and how it turned out for them
- why don’t we help you a little bit now, just so you can see what we do, so you KNOW you can TRUST US from these results.
Is it harder to get a Brit to part with their cash than it is an American?
YES, says Dan
It might be just 2 or 3 contacts in non-UK countries, US, Australia etc. A lot less contact and still transaction.
So BE CAREFUL not to slavish about following US gurus, since their approach may not be ideal for British audiences.
Brits are: naturally more cynical, suspicious and lacking in confidence and have some self-belief issues.
They all add to sabotaging the sales process. SO YOUR UK sales process MUST deal with these intrinsic issues.
Dan argues when the British emigrated and founded the modern America, it was the risk takers, the confident who left our shores. The less confident and more risk averse STAYED PUT. Is this the difference that fundamentally separates the nations?
This model translates to people moving within the country. Culturally, we are different in different parts of the country.
The MAGIC 7 HOURS is a neat way to encapsulate how you should go about acquiring customers. There is a different leverage between impressions to create rapport.
How does this relate to the 100 Days plan?
Get your content out over the 100 days (some businesses may use email and that may take a couple of months, others training courses, speaking events, when the conversion time will be shorter).
WHATEVER your content plan, PUNCTUATE the series with an OFFER of a PHONE CALL. Get them talking, interacting to build rapport.
Asking for the telephone number upfront KILLS conversion.
So what is the best way of getting the telephone call?
If you want to be able to get in touch by telephone:
- Online scheduling
- Acuity scheduling https://acuityscheduling.com
- Timetrade http://www.timetrade.com/
- These systems set up an appointment and gather the telephone number for you to make the call.
- Offer them a booking and WHAT THEY WILL GET FROM ME
- It is their choice.
Are there any tips as to how best to create a SQUEEZE PAGE or LANDING PAGE?
- Where do you want people to end up?
- Make all the things for that to happen to make the sale.
- A lead magnet could be something relevant to start.
Reverse engineer your sales process?
Landing Page – somewhere where you end up as a result of a click. You land on it. Typically, there is a call to action – this is what you can do next to do something. A landing page may tell you to do multiple things.
Squeeze Page = single call to action. You ask the person to do ONE action. You squeeze their focus and attention onto that ONE action.
The length of a landing page/squeeze page – as long as it needs to take the next action. Don’t be afraid to fully explain.
But Dan cautions FIRST examine your sales process. Think about what email you can send to your existing customers or prospects. What they need to do to take the next step?
For more help
Dan is part of The Next 100 Days Podcast Facebook Group.
You can contact Dan: Go here and get his GUIDE on getting more customers – www.customersontap.co.uk