Four Brushes (Issue 512)

In which we are reminded to vary the content of our prospecting approaches while we maintain our routine frequencies.

I brush my teeth two to three times a day.[You think THAT’s too much information?  Wait!  There’s more! Lots more!]

I use four toothbrushes. I rotate them. Today’s “after breakfast” tooth brush rests until after breakfast or after dinner tomorrow. [Over a period of time, they’ve gotten used to it. They don’t squabble about it any more.]

Why is that, you’re wondering?  After years of experimenting with different combinations of brushes, flosses, toothpastes, mouthwashes, diet changes,  and hygienist care (and, no joke,  my primary hygienist during most of this period was named Candy), I discovered that a dry brush (no water, no toothpaste) used in the typical way cleaned my teeth SIGNIFICANTLY better than a wet brush.**

The rotation of the brushes keeps them fresh and ensures that they’re dry and effective when I’m ready to use them. The routine and frequent brushing ensures a good result.

The same idea applies in sales and marketing efforts, too.  When we’re pursuing prospects and we’re not able to secure a personal introduction or referral, the “traditional” approach is [more or less] to ‘wear them down” over a period of time through boring and predictable combinations of telephone calls, emails, or letters all of which carry the same message: “I want to meet with you. I want to meet with you. I want to meet with you.”  The result:  Prospects brush us off.

So, yes, consistent touching or reaching out are important just as routine tooth brushing is important.  We need to become a dependable presence in our prospects’ lives.

However: The “brush rotation” idea suggests we vary our touches much more significantly to be effective.

Most humans like and are stimulated by surprise, variety, and change. Whereas our teeth don’t care whether we engage them or not, we ARE attempting to engage our prospects to take action – meet with us, go to our web sites, return a card, call us.

Thus, changing our approaches, like changing toothbrushes, is likely to be more effective using the same old, same old (which wears out our toothbrushes just like it wears out our marketing approaches – they become soft, soggy, and ineffective in short periods of time.)

So, you might ask: What specifically should we do to rotate our “brushes” (i.e. approaches)?  Good question. The answer is: Whatever attracts the attention of, engages, and stimulates our target prospects.

The more we know about them and their businesses (research, research, research), the better able we are to choose messages; “things” like books, brownies, or baseball cards; and delivery channels (mail, email, telephone, Fed Express).

How often should we “brush” (i.e. reach out to them)?  Again, it depends … The evidence for tooth brushing suggests 2 – 3 times a day as a starting point. For engaging prospects, “brushing” every six weeks is a good starting point.

And, in both “brushing” prospects and brushing teeth, we keep going.  Brush teeth every day FOR OUR WHOLE LIVES, non stop, without fail, it’s just part of what we do.  “Brushing” prospects every six weeks or so, non-stop, without fail, should also be part of what we do.

Do we ever miss?  Of course. The point is:  Routine is good. Variation (rotating the brushes)  to maintain effectiveness is good.

** And now, evidence from others: “According to Prevention magazine (September 1997), a study performed with 128 test persons over a six-month period found that thanks to dry-brushing, bacterial plaque build-up on their back teeth dropped by 67% compared with their plaque deposits measured at the beginning of the study. They also showed a 50% reduction in gum bleeding.”  http://www.healingteethnaturally.com/toothpaste-alternatives.html

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