There is a study of habit known as the “Itch Cycle.” The Itch Cycle varies from topic to topic, and person to person. For example, once upon a time, comedians referred frequently to the “Seven-Year Itch.” Men were known for getting bored with what they have, and looking around. MGM had a famous movie starring Marilyn Monroe of the same title.
The Sales Cycle has an “itch” too. In the past, the cycle for small consumer goods was 18 months. Today, that itch cycle is much shorter due in great part, to the immediacy of the internet and mobile devices.
Customers are better informed than ever, and decisions to purchase (once the itch cycle begins) was once 10 days (small consumer goods). Today, that cycle is five days, or half of what it was 15 years ago.
This means we need to be in contact with our customers sooner, and more frequently if we want to be the solution to their “itch.” During your one-on-ones, ask your manager to share with you the frequency of converted quotes, and the vast majority of them happen inside the seven-day window.
We are moving from the age of the seller to the age of the customer. Our customers are better informed, more aware, and able to engage with solutions providers at any number of portals that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Customers have more alternatives for which to scratch their itch. If you ignore this fact, you may rapidly become noise vs signal in their world
BUILDING THE ITCH
Through our Customer Contacts and followups, we generate an itch. By reminding customers we’re here and that we’re looking out for their best interests, they’ll think of us first. You can bet that the competition isn’t sending them followup emails every couple of months. If by some strange coincidence they are, it’s unlikely that the competition knows as much about the customer as we do, because we’re not only qualifying our customers, we’re always doing an informal Needs Analysis by knowing what they do with their gear, knowing what would best compliment their equipment and workflow, and keeping an eye out for their best interests, right? If you’re not doing these things, you should be. That’s what a professional facilitator/sales person does. It’s a big component of building trust.
MANAGING THE ITCH
Once we generate a quote, we need to keep ourselves in the customer’s mind. We do this through phone calls and emails. We need to ‘scratch their itch’ every 72-96 hours. Therefore, if we generate a quote on a Monday, we need to be in touch with that customer by Thursday afternoon at latest.
Therefore, if we generate a quote on a Monday, we need to be in touch with that customer by Thursday afternoon at latest.
In your CRM software, set a reminder/followup to contact your customer within that four day window, and watch your sales grow.
Scratching itches brings relief, and relief puts money in YOUR pocket as a solutions facilitator for your customer’s needs.