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Why Your Marketing Needs Many Touches

By Michael Zipursky

I was doing some research for a client in the financial space the other day and came upon this research from Grant Hicks. Even if you’re not in the financial field there is a great takeaway here for marketers all around.

Remember, what you read here isn’t just for financial advisors, but also for management consultants, marketing consultants, and just about any other kind of consultant or business out there.

Most financial advisors find they are 80% more successful after the fifth contact with prospects.

The reason why is in the numbers:

  • 5-10% chance of having a person become a customer or client after one contact.
  • 10-20% chance of having a person become a customer or client after two contacts.
  • 20-30% chance of having a person become a customer or client after three contacts.
  • Most advisors give up after three tries.
  • 30-40% chance of having a person become a customer or client after four contacts.
  • 50-70% chance of having a person become a customer or client after five touches.
  • Numbers soar after five touches.
  • 70-80% chance of having a person become a customer or client after six and seven contacts.
  • In total, 50-80% of all new business developed after the fifth, sixth and seventh touch or contact.

More interesting facts:

  • 40-50% of advisors will call once and never call again.
  • 25-40% will contact a prospect the second time and follow up and that’s it.
  • 10-20% will contact them three times and stop there.
  • 5-10% Will contact or touch people five times or more before doing business with them and become very successful opening new accounts 70-80% of the time and earning in the top 5-10% of advisors.

Isn’t it a shame that most marketers give up after only 2-3 attempts to win new business?

22 thoughts on “Why Your Marketing Needs Many Touches

  1. toutat-e-business says:

    very practical informations, I argee this article.

    • Sandra says:

      I agree. I have thought this for some time but this research really shows it clearly doesn’t it. Wow! Thank you!

  2. Julie says:

    I agree! I’ve seen supporting information from Chet Holmes a while back. Since reading that, I’ve helped clients plan for – and embrace – the first 7 rejections, and built 12-step processes into their business development and marketing campaigns. It works a treat!! Thanks for reinforcing it for consultants. (I sometimes forget this for my own business!)

    • Julie – Chet is a wise guy! Nice work you’re doing there. Great to hear this was useful for you. We all need reminders like this from time to time 🙂

  3. Having spent about 10 years in B2B sales I have to say that this is an invaluable reminder for consultants and everyone else involved in selling their services. With regards to Julie’s comments, I wouldn’t look at the first few touches as potential rejections, but rather an opportunity to build rapport with your future clients. After all, people do business with those that they know, like and trust.

    • Julie says:

      Bart, you’re absolutely right to point that out. Every interaction is an opportunity to build a stronger and deeper relationship. I simply plan for and make sure that business leaders (and newer sales teams) don’t get discouraged if the prospect isn’t signing checks in the first few meetings. 🙂 The longer B2B relationship-building process is sometimes challenging if you’re not prepared for it. Great comment, thank you!

  4. Berry Zimmerman says:

    Did the statistical research include any details about the content and frequency of the “contacts?” Were they cold calls? Were they email newsletters? Direct mail contacts?

    Was there any differentiation about the effectiveness of each type of contact?


    BTW, what’s their definition of a “contact?”

    • Berry – a ‘touch’ or ‘contact’ refers to any type of interaction with a potential client. It could be a phone call, advertisement, direct mail piece, newsletter, seminar, consultation, etc. The effectiveness will be different depending on several factors including copy, offer, headline, message to market match, product, and so on.

  5. Leo says:

    Don’t make this info public, otherwise we will have every single outsourced phone marketer calling more than 5 times to everyone!! Great info though. Thanks.

  6. Leo says:

    Don’t make this info public, otherwise we will have every single outsourced phone marketer calling more than 5 times to everyone!! Great info though. Thanks.

    • Paul Moore says:

      Too late Leo! They are already. I have call block on my phone and without fail get the same telemarketers phoning every week at exactly the same time. Call block rings once then blocks. I am beginning to think I work in a church!

  7. Wow, this article was very helpful. . . It also makes me appreciate the “Yes” much more if I’ve only “touched” someone once or twice. Also makes me realize: I may have to send more emails, call people more often to “chat” and make more Facebook comments on potential client’s pages. . .

  8. 20twentystrategies says:

    Going through this right now. We’ve been pursuing one client since May this year and another since July. Both seems very promising but have not yet signed off on the contract. I must admit at times it’s really frustrating but landing these clients would literally mean a change of pace and visibility for our marketing agency.

  9. Great article Mike. To me it proves two points. First, persistance and repetition pay off in marketing and business development. Second, marketing programs need to include multiple tactics especially PR, outbound campaigns and inbound campaigns. Having a solid strategy and process to create repeatable and consistent campaigns will pay off over the long haul.

  10. Emerald Taylor says:

    I agree with this article as well. The fortune is in the follow up.. You don’t have to follow up every week, but just at least put the prospect on a rotation basis in your contact list. I find that to be very helpful. Being in Network Marketing really allows you to see the statistics as they appear above in the article .. Thanks!

  11. Ravi says:

    Michael good article..I ain’t sure whether this will surprise you..apart of independent consulting this happens lot in the normal B2B scenario as well..I am currently facing it while in process of building new channel with suppliers/vendors. But in the same time I undoubtfully agree to what Bart & Julie called out in above discussion. Creating rapport matters & sometimes it takes time to build win trust before venturing into anything new with someone new. With my experience in few cases ppl jump out of the very first call & pretend that deal/order should get confirmed by next call which is impractical an unecessary to pretend. Even if you are into a new deal of well known product it might not hppn over night. Sometimes it is the STATUS of the needy against tht of the suppliers and sometimes it is other way out so we can’t judge & we shouldn’t. Its all about win-win situation tht both ends shld wait for & work on. I guess some hidden protocols need to be respected. Afterall it all involves money (bottomline)….be it be of giver or for the taker 🙂

    With this regard I wld like to invite interested members to join one more somewhat related discussion in this same group started by Marco with heading –

    “Which “Brand” Are You Marketing First?
    Many of us are partial to certain brands out there- a brand of car, or a brand of clothing. However, PEOPLE ARE GOING TO NOTICE YOU first, before anything else”

    Refer – “”

  12. Michael Mangalam says:

    I agree with the premise that repeated contacts are crucial. It is also important on how it is done. If it is phone call after phone call with no value add, it is more like harassment. The key is *nurturing*. Newsletters with useful insights are a great way to present yourself repeatedly in front of prospects without air of harassment. Invitation to local networking events is another way to do it. Periodically these efforts can be supplemented with phone calls.

    – Michael Mangalam, Founder,
    “Crowdsourced and Confidential Consulting for Business Questions”

  13. I wonder on what you base your percentage, but it’s a nice post concerning the main point of it. It made me concider many several things that can be crucial for a business that I sometimes put aside. Nowadays, social networks is a big player in marketing and is the source of the majority of my new clients.
    But well, we have to still be human and not let us be controlled by machine, so it’s important to always have a human approach to anyone.
    A great bet that many companies use to forget.

    -Manesh Sonah, Founder of
    Agence web Montreal.

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