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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Touches that sell online

The PR, sales and marketing touches that nudge a prospective customer into making a buy decision go something like this, although at any stage, a particularly strong recommendation from a trusted person or a respected media source (on or offline) can accelerate the process dramatically. As can 'clicking' with someone who has already got a well-developed need for your product or services and has already done a fair amount of research.

A potential customer stumbles across your website in an unrelated search (touch 1) and think 'that's interesting'. They may even save your URL in their favourites. Then forget all about it until a blog they're following recommends you (touch 2), but the phone rings and they get side-tracked.

Then they notice a piece about you in a trade or consumer publication (on or offline). Or on Face-book, Twitter etc (touch 3). Since this is the third time your name has come up, they start to remember you (the memory likes to work in groups of three, which is why triads are so popular and memorable in prose and speeches).

So they note down the name and look up your website (touch 4).

If the page they land on takes them to something interesting (instead of a wait for flash content to download) and the interesting content contains a clear and easy call to action on the page, you may well accelerate them on to the next touch.

Activating the call to action does what it says on the tin. A call to action is an exhortation to take action accompanied by an easy way to initiate the next step in the sales dialogue: click on an email address for further info, or a Skype call button etc) (touch 5). If they respond to a call to action, they have seriously entered your sales pipeline and are now a qualified or 'hot' sales prospect and should be tagged as such in your database or CRM program (such as

You respond to their enquiry with further marketing information (touch 6). Plus an invitation to another call to action (touch 7) - maybe a special offer, a white paper to download, a newsletter to subscribe to (collecting their info into a permission-based database if you didn't capture it at touch 6).

Now you have their permission (always with an easy unsubscribe route and backed by a good data privacy management system following good data protection practices - see you can embark on a relationship-building series of exchanges (touches 8 onwards).

Depending on the nature of your product or service and your communications strategy and company ethos, your company's marketing and sales materials will flow alongside these relationship building exchanges, via automated responses, information provision and further calls to action and website interactions into negotiated sales. Larger sales and service contracts may have to be reeled in via a tendering system or individual sales exchanges on the telephone, presentations at meetings, or via mail or email.

Looking backwards through this process, are there any points where your PR, sales and marketing could be strengthened? Are there any points where the sales process ceases to flow? Points where you lose them?

See the next post to make the most of your sales enquiries.

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posted by Penny Haywood Calder at


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17 December 2016 at 04:59  

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