The second worst time to introduce yourself to a customer is when she enters the market for what you sell. Really.
The worst time, of course, is after she’s bought from your competitor.
But only slightly better is to introduce yourself at the moment of need.*
Because by then — absent extraordinary sales skill — it’s too late to build preference and make a high value sale.
If you wait to reach the prospect until she’s actively price shopping, you’ll end up competing on price.
It’ll feel like this:
The Best Time to Introduce Yourself to a Customer
So does that mean that the best time to introduce yourself to a customer is just before she needs what you sell?
Marketers and business owners whose tunnel vision has hyper-focused on efficiency will desire to reach prospects just before their moment of need.
“I don’t want to spend any more money talking to this customer than absolutely necessary to close the sale.”
That’s loser talk from third-rate sales schmucks.
Their tunnel vision on “efficiency” has blinded them to the need for the genuine effectiveness required to grow a market dominating company.
Maximum effectiveness requires that:
- Your positive reputation precedes you sufficiently in advance of a customer’s moment of need that she comes to you pre-convinced to willingly pay a premium for your services.
- Your mass media ads have given her the sense that she “knows” you, and feels a sense of connection with you over shared values.
- Your prospect has come to internalize what she’s begun to believe is the general consensus about you.
And all of that takes time.
No one can accurately calculate the exact bare minimum of time, but anyone could tell you the more time you give your branding to do the job, the better the results.
But if I had to say, I’d estimate you’ll see leading indicators within 6 months, and begin to see sales traction somewhere on the order of 7 months to a year.
Of course, there are cheat codes to make branding success happen faster (if your copywriter has the skill), but the smart bet is to assume a year’s commitment.
So there you have it: the worst, second worst, and best times to introduce yourself to customers.
When does your marketing have you introducing your company to customers?
Wanna change that? Let’s talk.
*P.S. Please note that I’m talking about when you introduce yourself to the customer, not necessarily when you reach them. Reaching customers at their moment of need through sales activation efforts is indeed valuable, so long as you’ve introduced yourself to them earlier. And if you’d like help with that, let me recommend the fine folks at Moger Media.
P.P.S. The longer your buying cycle, the more it hurts to lose a potential sale to a customer because you introduced yourself too late. And that means the more crucial your long-term branding becomes.