How many “touches” does it take to make a sale?

If real estate is all about location, location, location, then marketing is all about repetition, repetition, repetition.

Over the past several months, one of our long-term retainer clients — a local financial planning firm — has seen a dramatic increase in new prospect meetings and the number of new clients added per month.

So, what’s the secret?

Repetition, repetition, repetition.

And good systems.

About three years ago, we helped FSI implement a low-cost, online CRM to track prospects and sales activities.  We also helped the firm create and send regular email newsletters and we facilitate a weekly meeting to review all marketing and prospecting updates.

Like many companies, the firm already had a robust system and database to service current customers, but lacked a prospecting database and communication plan.

Without a prospecting database, there was no way to track prospects and leads, and it was very difficult to structure, or segment, outgoing marketing communications…like emails, postcards, or special mailings.

Furthermore,  follow-ups were hit and miss.   The result? It was almost impossible to gain any insight about where new clients came from or which marketing efforts worked.

Now, after after 3+ years of using a prospecting database, and tracking which marketing messages (and how many) each prospect receives, we can see a trend…and results!

It takes 6-8 “touches” to get a response.

That’s right. Our client reports that they are now meeting with prospects who have received 6-8  “touches” from the firm….in the form of email newsletters, snail mail, personal emails, and phone calls.

What’s really interesting though is that the prospects don’t remember it this way….at all.

“When I meet with new prospects, many of them only remember the last email, or voicemail, if that.  And, some think they have only heard from us once or twice over the last few weeks.” says one of the firm’s owners.

In reality, many of those prospects have been been receiving regular communications from the firm over a much longer period of time — anywhere from 8 months to 2 years.

Lessons Learned:

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  • Consistency works.
  • Repetition works.
  • Prospects may need to be “touched” 6-8 times before they take action
  • A database helps you track ROI and understand your company’s unique sales cycle
  • A communications plan and a tracking system will help you test messages and refine tactics.


If you need help reaching out to your customers on a regular basis, call us, we’d love to help.

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Janet is FatCat's Founder & Managing Partner. She covers business ownership, including tips on how you can get your business off the ground and keep it running strong.

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