Posted by: brandextenders | July 30, 2014

What is Old is New Again…Even in Sales

Restored "Doc" & friends

Restored “Doc” & friends

I’ve always loved aviation and saw a story recently about a restored B-29 Flying Fortress named “Doc.” She was one of 4,000 B-29’s built during WWII, but after the Korean War Doc sat for decades in a California desert and was used by the military for target practice. Recently restored and flying, she truly brings to mind the saying what’s old is new again.

Sales people are always looking for the newest mantra to generate more sales, find prospects, close deals and make money. But the story of Doc and seeing the stats below from Referral Squirrel got me to thinking. First the stats:

  • 2% of sales are made on the First contact.
  • 3% of sales are made on the Second contact.
  • 5% of sales are made on the Third contact.
  • 10% of sales are made on the Fourth contact.
  • 80% of sales are made on the Fifth to Twelfth contact.


  • 48% of sales people never follow-up with a prospect.
  • 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop.
  • 12% of sales people make three contacts and stop.
  • Only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts with a prospect.

How many of us in sales bang our heads against a wall always looking for new customers and never understand the statistics above? Maybe we reach out to new prospects a few times and then move on looking for greener pastures. These stats should not be a surprise and have probably always been true. Sure, there may be times when you stumble on someone ready to buy today, but most people want to buy from those they know and trust and that takes time.

So if you’re looking for a sales advantage, note the two highlighted numbers above. 80% of sales are made on the fifth or higher touch points and only 10% of sales people ever make more than three attempts. More touches won’t guarantee more sales, but fewer touches will certainly guarantee fewer sales.

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