The Game of Numbers

Black and white numbers background

How many dates do you go on before you get married? I would be willing to bet that 97 times out of 100, it takes more than just two.

The art of sales is a lot like a dating, courtship, and ultimately marriage. It takes patience, persistence, and respect.

  • Patience – Being ready and willing to wait for the other party to think over things
  • Persistence – Being tactful and comfortable with following up
  • Respect – Time, space, and money are all things that people hold closely; respecting these three things is critical for any relationship to thrive

Many esteemed business leaders believe three percent of sales are made on the second contact, ten percent of sales are made on the fourth contact, and eighty percent of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact. Note, these numbers may not be exact, but we believe they accurately reflect typical sales behavior.

In the teleprospecting campaigns that Dunlap Marketing does in a primarily business-to-business environment, it is very common for us to make at least eight call attempts before we start feeling the early indications of list saturation. The fact is, tactful persistence is required if you want to speak with the people who make decisions.

Only ten percent of sales people make more than three contacts. Forty-eight percent of sales people never follow up with a prospect. Again, these numbers are believed by many respected business leaders to reflect common behaviors.

We have learned that just because someone is not easy to connect with, does not mean they are not interested in what we are promoting – all it means is that they are probably busy. The game of numbers works well in our favor – if we call enough records enough times over a couple months, we will accomplish our goals without wearing out our welcome.

So, how many dates do you go on before you get married? Two? Four? Twelve? You tell me!