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Marketing's Rule of 7

I first learned of the 7 Points of Contact Rule from Dr. Jeffrey Lant. In one of his books, he stated that it takes, on average, 7 contacts between a buyer and seller before the buyer feels comfortable enough to do business with the seller. Therefore the marketer should try to establish 7 points of contact (emails, direct mail, face-to-face appointments, etc) within a specified time period in order to further the sale.

In almost all of my speeches and seminars, this point alone is an epiphany to my audience.

Here's my question: Has anyone out there come across quantifiable data that supports this notion? Or have you seen a different number that is backed up by empirical data?

May 18, 2005 | Permalink


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hey, I just found your site. WOW, lot of information here.

I am just starting some self promotion marketing, and 7 sounds like a good number. I am just starting to build a cient base and have found that I need at LEAST 3 points of contact and sometimes more than 7 (but I am also new to this, Maybe others more versed in marketing could do consistantly well with less than 7?

I will defenitely have to come back and check out the rest of your site.


Posted by: ken | May 18, 2005 10:05:39 PM

I think 7 is about right on average. It does depend a little on luck. I sent an email to a lead that I heard had an immediate need and two days later we were able to find a solution for him. This however is pretty rare. I think what Jay's point proves is that people buy from people with whom they are comfortable. This is a point missed on all those "low-cost providers" that think price is king. Price MIGHT get you in the door, but solving problems and bringing value keeps you in.

Posted by: Erik Anderson | May 20, 2005 11:40:44 AM

From all my experience I've learnt that there's five steps and many contacts that may lead to good business relationships.

The steps are:
1. Call a potential customer by phone and get an appointment
2. In that appointment make sure to disclose the customer's need for your products.
3. Send the customer a written quotation
4. Follow up by phone and / or by face to face appointments.
5. Repeat point 4 until the customer buys your product or you have agreed on not to go further (meaning you're out!).

If by 7 contacts you mean 7 meetings, phone calls etc., I am not sure if 7 is the right figure. That will always depend on the customer and the complexity of the customer's need.

And - by the way - I've been in the marketing business for 20 years...

Posted by: Roy | May 25, 2005 8:05:32 AM

Hi Jay. Nice blog. Good stuff. Regarding the "7" rule, I ran into an article that referenced a study by the National Sales Executive Association. It found only 2% of all sales take place on the first contact with a new potential customer. In fact, 80% of sales require from 5 to 12 contacts before the prospect becomes a customer.

This is quite possibly the most important concept a sales or marketing person can understand. Thanks for discussing it here.

BTW - good luck with the Reader's Choice Awards!

Posted by: Kevin Stirtz | Jun 3, 2005 10:57:16 AM

Hi Jay,

I don't have any stats, but from experience I agree. About 7 is a great rule of thumb.

I usually find that methods that don't engage them 'physically' with you or your team are great to put in place to get the 'contacts' to around 7.

Like a few e-mails, a 'credibility' flyer, a direct mail, fax etc works wonders prior to meeting the prospect.

If you can answer the 3 questions 'who are you', 'what have you done' and 'what can you do for me' prior to meeting them - you're on the way, and if they still want to meet you - they're qualified.

A nice working website with autoresponders and audio, video can do the trick.


Posted by: Business Growth | Jun 6, 2005 3:17:07 AM

www.infusionsoft.com sell automated marketing follow up software - 20% of their customers doubled sales


1 company nutured its leads 5+ times and increased sales by 375%

Posted by: Philip | Nov 5, 2008 6:11:07 AM

Hi Jay, I enjoy your blog posts, very helpful.

Posted by: Sandi | Nov 10, 2011 1:37:57 PM

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