Promotional Success Quantified! How To Turn A Prospect Into A Client

A Scintillating, Sales Stimulating Piece Put together by Rick Greene, MAS

The title of this article certainly makes BOLD promises! 
Read on, seekers of truth… because TRUTH is what I have to offer!

For about three years I wrote a Blog for one of the promotional products industry websites called Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable.  In the 30+ columns I wrote, by FAR the most popular one was called ‘A Touch Is Still A Touch’ in which I revealed a prospecting secret so profound that to this day I still have readers thanking me and referencing the column as ‘life-changing’. 

I’m going to reprise this critically important information in that article here and now, just for you!  I’m a giver.

I’ve been managing promotional products salespeople for 35 years and I’ll often get approached by an inquisitive soul who asks me, “Rick, I’ve been working hard and I have a decent account base built up, but I’m not hitting those big numbers.  Tell me, WHAT IS THE SECRET?  I know you know!”

The Secret.  That elusive secret of sales success that the Million Dollar Producers know and won’t share.  That private club, that pinnacle of success that few get to join.  But every now and then, a new member passes that fabled sales goal because… perhaps… someone let the secret slip?

For years my stock response has been, “Okay, here is the secret… lean in close, I’m going to whisper.. the secret is… THERE IS NO SECRET!! It’s just hard work, pure and simple.  It’s not luck, it’s not skill, it’s hard work.”  Then they usually pop me one in the beezer for screaming in their ear that ‘THERE IS NO SECRET’ part.  I love it when they plotz a little bit.

Anyway, I began to think… what if I’m wrong??  What if there really IS a secret and even I am not privy to it!  If there is… can I pry this mysterious sales success secret from the claws of a mystical million dollar producer and break the conspiracy wide open for all the world to see and know and prosper from!! 

So, I did just that.  And I found out there is a secret.  I now know the secret.  And I’m going to tell you what the secret is… right here, right now.

You’re welcome.

Here in Halo Land we have more than 50 Million Dollar Producers.  Of this celebrated group, more than two dozen of them book $2 Million and up.  I approached a gentleman in this category.  He books about two and a half million dollars a year, every year.  I didn’t beat around the bush.  I asked him what the secret was.  He asked to remain anonymous.  And he told me!  HE TOLD ME.

“Rick”, he said to me, because I often respond to that name, as well as Smacky, Slab-Chugger, Hey Handsome and Noodles.  But I digress.  “Rick, there is a secret.  And I’ll tell you what it is.  Here is the secret to success in the promotional products industry, or really, any sales industry.  The secret is…”  He leaned in close to me.  He smelled like duck.  But a rich duck.  “The secret is very simple.  It’s…”

I noticed a little red dot wavering like a pulse on his wrinkled forehead.  Sniper!  From the building across the street!  I knocked him backwards and felt the whisper of a bullet against my cheek.  We hit the ground hard, rolled left and continued our conversation at the bar.  In fact, we may have started the conversation at the bar.  I’m not really sure.  I hear voices, sometimes.

“Here is the secret,” he said.  “The secret is… Touches.  Making touches.  Most people don’t know how many touches it takes to win a prospect, to turn him or her into a client.  I know.  It takes 13 touches to turn a prospect into a client.  Most sales people quit after the first or second touch.  Most SUCCESSFUL sales people quit after the 5th or 6th touch.  I keep reaching out, keep touching my prospects.  Because it takes 13 touches to turn a prospect into a client.  That’s the secret.  The secret is to outlast my competition.  They all quit long before I do.  During these thirteen touches, my prospect is getting to know me, to know my personality, my style, the way I communicate.  They get to know MY BRAND.  So that when I get to that 13th Touch, they are ready to buy.  If you work hard and keep in contact, you’ll turn a prospect into a customer after the 13th touch.”


That’s it.  That’s the secret.  And it turns out I was right after all.  The secret is hard work.  Not giving up.  Sticking to it.  Reaching out to your prospect, again and again, making it clear that you intend to work with them and that they need to work with you, that you will help them to achieve brand preference and marketing success. 

I think he shared this secret because he knew that most people aren’t going to work that hard, that they are inherently lazy or scared or stupid.  That sharing the secret was safe because of basic human nature.

Prove him wrong.  He just called you dumb and lazy!  He can’t get away with that!  Knowing the secret is empowering.  Success is now quantified.  Select your Five Targeted Bullseye Accounts (Large Accounts) and start reaching out and touching them every week.  Calls, emails, spec samples, specials, virtuals, these are all touches.  And now you know how many touches it takes to turn a prospect into an account.

Remember to temper your enthusiasm and drive with realistic expectation.  There is no such thing as a plan that works every time, or we’d all be making 13 quick touches and writing that first order with the 14th call.  If you get the sense that you simply aren’t connecting with that VP of Marketing, move on. Take them off your list and – this is important – REPLACE THEM with a new Bullseye Target.  Always be working 5 large targets, touching each one once a week.  Listen to your instincts, you’ll know when to drop one and bring in someone new.

As far as the bullet whispering against my cheek, that wasn’t exactly accurate.  The hero never gets shot.  But that bullet careened off my pelvis, glanced off my spleen and circled the viaduct of my pulsing conundrum… and it came out here.  That’s fine, I got the secret and I’ve now shared it with you.  It was worth it.

Now go.  Be successful.  Conquer the world.  Keep the secret safe.  And when you see the little red shimmering dot, remember to duck.

Rick Greene, MAS is the Western Regional Vice President with HALO Branded Solutions, a Past President of SAAC and the author of two wildly funny books of fantasy fiction, “Boofalo” and “Shroom”, available at Amazon or any online book retailer, and the forthcoming biography “Henry Brandon King Of The Bogeymen” from BearManor Media in 2018.  He has never really been shot or shot at, although once an old girlfriend stapled a restraining order to his back with a staple-gun.  But it was a Smith & Wesson staple-gun.

© 2017 by Richard Steven Greene

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