On Sequences And “Touches”

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The research tells us we need to be persistent in our outreaches to prospects and clients. To reach and engage them, we have to leverage multiple channels of engagement. Phone, email, social, texts, and other channels must be leveraged simultaneously to provoke a prospect–even a customer to respond.

Data shows we often need to reach out over 15 times to catch the attention of prospects. Years ago, it used to be 7-10 outreaches, now it’s over 15, who knows where it will be next year.

We’ve even created the “sequences” to provoke prospect engagement. The concept is powerful, building a story over time to engage the prospect. Yet too often, the sequence we see implemented is, “Did you get my last message and the previous message and the previous message……..

It’s interesting to see the outreaches and sequences that fill my inbox and my mobile (voicemails/texts).

One organization seems to think I need to hear everything that is going on with them. Every press release, every webinar, every new piece of content. In fairness, I signed up for a webinar about 5 years ago. In the intervening time, they’ve found it necessary to keep me informed 2532 times (that’s just the email messages). Since October 19, they’ve reached out 100 times on all sorts of topics–few of which have any interest to me.

Another seller, is going through his sequences. In the past 20 business days, he has found it necessary to reach out 28 times. He has a sequence of 5 stories that he keeps recycling. But our company is clearly not in the ICP of the organization. It’s a software tool that applies to a certain industry segment and function–but not ours. Yet he persists. (I was glad he took a break over Thanksgiving, I thought it good that he decided to spend time with his family, rather than doing more email sequences.)

Another has taken an interest in texting me on a daily basis. Each time coming from a different number. Each time telling me how important his software tool is. Today, he took an interesting tact. “Tell me to stop, or I’ll double the volume of texts I send you….” What a fascinating approach to creating interest!

And then there are the newsletters. It’s amazing the number of companies that feel they have “breaking news,” or something they need to tell me about–every day! Sometimes, it seems they have more “news” than the stories I get from Axios and the New York Times every day.

Then there are the companies that drive me away from engaging–when I have a potential interest. Usually, my downloads of content are of market research, general trends and data around selling and marketing. I’ve stopped downloading these, as much as I may be interested in the research/insight because of the onslaught of emails and voicemails thanking me for my interest in their products.

One famous one, keeps reaching out, on those occasions, wanting to talk to me about becoming a customer, even though we’ve been a customer for over 10 years.

You might say, “Dave, you are exaggerating. Surely these must be spammers or Nigerian princes. They can’t be legitimate companies.” Sadly, they are all legit companies. Mostly familiar names in sales/marketing technologies, telecom, and other technologies. In aggregate, I get 1000’s of outreaches every year, none of which I’ve expressed an interest in, but somehow my email was harvested.

We have met the enemy……..

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