The Rule of 7. It’s not just for prospecting.
Apply this rule at two other steps of your sales process and increase your close ratio and retention rate.
“Why did you hire me?”
“Well, your articles and statements about the “Rule of 7″ really struck a chord in me. I realized that I’m usually only contacting people a few times, and even then not close enough together to really mean something. I really want to work a total program to close more accounts.”
That’s how an initial call with a coaching client started this morning… talking about the very important “Rule of 7.”
It is the concept that anything done once is the equivalent of doing nothing at all.
So if you are doing anything once… calling, mailing, emailing, whatever… it really is the same as doing nothing. And if your contact is sporadic and not sequenced within a reasonable period of time… every touch is not perceived as connected… so it pretty much is the same as a one time shot, and pretty much the equivalent of doing nothing at all.
In the course of that call, and learning how the newest accounts were obtained and how the overall best accounts were obtained, this very capable salesperson asked if she could run two other situations by me. She did and they are a reminder of additional places the Rule of 7 should be applied in your sale process.
The first scenario was a meeting with a very large company. Meeting seemed to go well. What happened next? Nothing. Calls not returned. Finally, finally connect to hear “We have your information, we’ll call you.”
The Rule of 7 applies here.
Those who meet or interact with a prospect multiple times tend to get the account. Those that meet or interact once, don’t.
Query? Knowing that to be true, what strategies do you utilize in a first meeting to engineer that next meeting or interaction?
IT IS UP TO YOU TO ENGINEER THE CIRCUMSTANCES that have your client panting for that next interaction or meeting. It must come from within them; you can’t impose it or try to force it on them.
So when you go to a first meeting, knowing that to have a reasonable chance of closing that account and that the Rule of 7 applies, how are you structuring your questions and what you say to engineer those next steps? They don’t happen by accident and they don’t happen because you are super duper qualified, capable and competent. That is not enough.
The other scenario described is common to anyone in a service business, and again, the Rule of 7 can help us avoid it. You do an absolutely tremendous job delivering 100% quality always on time for the client and yet they leave you because “they don’t think you care enough.”
Again, the Rule of 7 applies. Once an account is “closed” you are not in the clear. The most profitable businesses are those that are good at retaining, reselling and cross-selling accounts. Many times an account can be lost, not due to ACTUAL service failures or deficiencies, but due to PERCEIVED service failures or deficiencies. Those perceptions are based upon faulty expectations that need to be discovered early and altered.
How do you do it? Frequent interactions with your new accounts at a critical time in the relationship.
To open more doors, close more opportunities and retain more accounts… become more congruent with the Rule of 7.
After the few weeks it takes to get her prospecting and appointment setting system up and running, my coaching client and I will have plenty of time to work on “first appointment” strategies that earn next steps and methods that head faulty expectations off at the pass.
Best wishes for sales success,