Spaced Repetition: Your Single Biggest Problem
Today I want to talk to you about what I think is your biggest single problem. I don’t care if you have a store front or that you work alone from home. It doesn’t matter if you work out of your attic or from your basement. You all have the same problem. And it’s the same problem I have.
Not enough of the right people know you’re alive.
That’s it. How can I do business with you if I don’t know that you exist? It all starts with visibility. I have to be introduced to you and know that you are alive. Then and only then can we begin to build a relationship that I hope, will lead to new business.
The reason why you don’t remain visible over time is because you don’t want to appear as being obnoxious, or come across as bothering people.
You can take this to the bank. As soon as you are out of my sight, you are out of my mind. I’m not waking up thinking about you. I have my own problems … my own baggage. I’m not concerned about you.
If you want to do business with me, you have to enter my world and remain visible over time.
I’m going to introduce to you a rule that I’ve been sharing for the past 25 years. I believe in it wholeheartedly and for lack of a better label, let’s refer to it as The Rule of Seven.
Adopt The Rule of Seven as your daily mantra and you will thank me for it. What this rule infers is that if you want to do business with me, you must contact me a minimum of seven times in every eighteen-month period. That’s the exact wording of the law: seven times in each eighteen-month period.
However, there is nothing magical about the number seven, and there’s nothing magical about the number eighteen. What that rule infers is that you need to stay visible … over time.
If you contact me seven times on a Monday, you become obnoxious. If you contact me seven times over a thirty-year period, you become forgettable. You want to space your contacts to meet the requirements of the law. I think the official term for this is “spaced repetition.”
Visibility can be achieved in a number of ways. You can use postcards. You can use e-mail. You can use letters. You can use the telephone. You can come in person. Regardless of your choice of entry, you have to come back in to my life time and time again to begin to establish a relationship so that I feel comfortable with you. Comfortable enough so that soon we will end up doing business together.
I was listening to some tapes the other day, and another marketing consultant used the 12×12 Rule. His idea made sense to me. I like the 12×12 Rule.
I ask entrepreneurs: “How big is your database?” And they tell me, “5,000.” I want to laugh because 5,000 people in a database for a home-based operation is fictitious. I’d rather hear 50. I’d rather hear 125, or something you can handle.
Well, the 12×12 Rule implies that you return to your office and list the twelve people you want to do business with. Not a hundred. Twelve. Then, once a month, contact them. Every month come back into their life with some piece of valuable information. Twelve customers. Twelve months, The 12×12 Rule.
Both the Rule of 7 and The 12 x 12 Rule support the concept of consistency and visibility.
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