The customer leaves the supermarket with bags of groceries filled. It would be ridiculous for the grocer to scratch that customer off the list of prospects and stop marketing to them. That customer will need more food soon and the sales cycle starts over again.
But few businesses sell products and services that everyone on the planet needs to use daily and purchase every few days. Their marketing and sales model is different. Very few businesses only sell their offerings in a “once and done” model also. But it is shocking how many businesses appear to follow either that model or the “we did such a good job for us they will come back when they need our products or services again.”
The roofing company packs up and leaves. The home has a new roof, one that will last for fifteen to twenty years. The roofer can scratch that address off the list of prospects, or should they?
The manufacturer of corrugated boxes “high-fives” the salesperson as the truck packed with boxes heads to their customer, but can they afford to not follow up?
The jeweler sells an engagement ring and wedding band to a lovesick man, and hopefully, the ring is the beginning of a happy, long marriage. If the jeweler markets to the happy couple, they will be back for anniversary rings and other expensive gifts.
That grocer has to market continuously to the same people because the prospect requires their products at least three times a day. The roofer’s customers won’t be in the market for a long time, so the roofer should be marketing at a different pace. That customer will need more boxes soon, and the jeweler should send an anniversary card because there are many opportunities for future sales if they continue marketing to those customers.
In twelve years, the roofer could start sending an annual newsletter showing advances in roofing techniques and styles, just so the homeowner is aware of the company that did the last job. In fifteen years they could do a “Free Inspection.” In following years, the marketing effort should increase because that roof is going to need replacing soon.
Your product or service probably has a sales cycle somewhere between that of the grocery and the roofer. Plot out a graph of the cycle. Determine when the typical customer is going to need your product. Plan a method of getting to them so they know who to turn to when the time is right. If you don’t, it might be twenty years before you have another chance at them.