When’s the best time to make a sale?

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If you’ve been involved in marketing for your business for any length of time, you’ll probably have had this debate with someone in your company – perhaps you’ve even had it with yourself.

How often should you approach a customer with a sales pitch? How often should you make an offer?  How often should you contact someone before they become annoyed and consider you a pest?

Some people think that the more often you contact a customer or prospect, the quicker they’re likely to unsubscribe from your list and perhaps even file a spam report against you.

In my experience, the opposite is true.

I’ve noticed with my clients that when they maintain a steady flow of contact that they have LESS unsubscribes and higher responses.  The less frequently they make contact, the MORE unsubscribes and the less their response is.

The same goes for sales.  People who purchase one item are far more likely to make another purchase if you contact them shortly after the first purchase.  The longer you wait, the less likely an additional purchase will be.

Now it obviously depends on your product or service and its price point. Contacting someone a week after they’ve just purchased a new vehicle from you is probably not likely to result in them purchasing another vehicle from you right away.  Having said that, if they’re happy with their purchase, it could mean a valuable, warm referral to a family member, a friend or a colleague who is currently in the market for a new vehicle.

Understanding the sales cycle for your product also allows you to gear your contacts to ramp up as the cycle draws to a close and the likelihood of a purchase increases.

Pricing affects your strategy as well.  If someone has just bought a $19.99 product from you, then they may not be quite ready to purchase a $1,999 product. But, if your products are of a similar price, then frequent communication and offers made within 45 days of a purchase are likely to result in repeat sales on a regular basis.

There are three major factors that go into choosing the best time to make a sale:

  1. how recently the customer made their last purchase
  2. how frequently they have purchased in the past
  3. their average transaction amount

By maintaining lists of customer’s purchase history and setting automatic communication systems in place that make appropriate offers to specifically targeted lists at the appropriate intervals, you’ll see a definite increase in your sales conversions.

One of the reasons for this is that customers who’re happy with a recent purchase have probably already contemplated an additional purchase and simply need some small incentive to take action. This means that les cost and effort is involved in repeat sales than is necessary to create a first sale – which adds another dimension of passive profit (savings) to your bottom line.

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