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Five Rules for Engaging Prospects

Five Rules for Engaging Prospects

February 06, 2014

My daughter is getting married in two weeks, so as I help plan the wedding, I have romance  and engagement on my mind. I realized that sales and romance have a lot more in common.than you may think. Look, how do you get the attention of your best prospects?  Here I will reveal to you The Definitive Guide to the 5 Rules of Engagement.

When you are searching for romance or looking for business there are 5 rules that you must learn.  These rules have rocked websites with a 300% increase. Discover how adding 1 minute 52 seconds to the “engagement factor” allowed one company to convert 92% more sales.   

Ironically, I discovered the solution accidently one Passover during a holiday dinner. That idea then went viral around the globe and can help you recruit more prospects. Read on to learn how.

A Box of Plagues? 

One Passover, while recounting the story of the exodus from Egypt, I noticed several people looked sleepy, having heard this story year after year. The real spirit of Passover is about asking questions such as, “How is this night different from all other nights?” (Note to self - A question creates a vessel that needs to be filled. Remember use this in business.) You see it piques curiosity and leads to engagement.


The truth is that family members and friends gathered around were yawning, and I realized that engagement should be taken one step farther by increasing participation. So the following year, we took matters into our own hands and prepared better. In an effort to better engage participants, we created “The Box of Plagues.” It’s a Passover kit with props to depict the ten plagues — ping-pong balls for hail, sunglasses for the plague of darkness, wild animal toys, and so forth.

I launched “The Box of Plagues” by making 10 of them in our basement. They were wildly popular, and eventually we made thousands of these kits and had distribution all over the world, turning it into a successful fundraiser with 100% of the profits going to charity.  The takeaway here is not about a way to raise funds — it's tapping into the secret of how to engage people in a powerful way. 

Here’s the Secret to Customer Engagement

Studies show that the amount of time a person spends when calling to rent an apartment makes a significant difference in whether or not they end up renting.  When I gave a presentation at the National Apartment Association (NAA), I used this mindblowing graph . You can see that the average call is 1:44 in length.  But adding just One minute and 52 seconds more on the phone boosts the conversion rate by 15%.

That’s because longer calls convert a whopping 92% more.


That’s a huge difference in the outcome for such a minimal effort on the sales side. Can you see the power in this and what it means for you and your sales process, regardless of the industry you are in?


When you can master the secret to engagement, you can increase sales by as much as 92%. Increased engagement also minimizes bounce rate on your website. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your site after viewing only one page. They came, they didn’t like what they saw, they bounced.  But if you engage them right away, it is harder for them to leave.


When Buckingham Company in Lexington, Kentucky, wanted to increase engagement and minimize bounce rate for apartment rentals on their website, they had a plan. They went from using boring, “old-school” floor plans to state-of-the-art 3-D floor plans. Buckingham Company is now able to give control of the online experience to the shopper. The result: a much more engaging site experience. Did it work? Absolutely: Buckingham increased time spent on their website by 300%. That’s huge! Here’s what floor plans used to look like, and what they look like now in 3-D.


 Busy Fingers Increase Response

Engagement doesn’t have to include 3-D anything. Publisher’s Clearing House used to use stickers  in their mailers: a ”YES”  sticker over here and a “NO” sticker over there. Come on, give me break.  Now why would Publisher’s Clearing House give out stickers in their promotions? They did it to increase the interactivity of the mailer and to physically engage the recipient in the acts of peeling and adhering the stickers. Small actions, but a big lift in engagement.  

Other simple changes have also made a big difference.  Royal Bank included a flat pen inside a Lumpy Mail piece. It kept the customers’ fingers busy, and it increased response rates from 1% to over 28%. That’s a real bump, simply because they increased the engagement and created curiosity.


It’s quite simple, actually.  Keeping a customer engaged —  on the phone, on your website, or in the mail — holds their attention. Remember last week, when we talked about the five road signs that Burma Shave used to engage travelers?  Engaging their audience worked for them...and it can work for you.


The Definitive Guide to the 5 Rules of Engagement

Now that you understand why to engage people, let’s focus on the key principles of HOW to engage.

  1. Use great content that dually educates AND entertains.  I call it Edu-tainment!
  2. Look into a mirror when you make sales calls. Simply keep a mirror by your desk and you will see how much your face is disgruntled.  Make the effort to smile into the mirror periodically while you are on the phone. Most people automatically become more entertaining and more engaging when they smile.
  3. Give your audience something to do; busy fingers keep people involved. Whether they are playing and touching your product in the store, playing a game on your website, pasting stickers, or using a touch screen, if they are busy, they stay with you longer. Ask yourself “How do I extend the engagement here?"
  4. Use approaches such as multi-time engagement, multi-step engagement, or curiosity engagement, where you “keep them wanting more.”
  5. Remember it’s a slow process… drip… drip… drip.  You don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date (or at least you shouldn’t) so start slowly to develop the relationship.  It takes several interactions before you can make a sale or close a deal.  Engage them, don’t overwhelm them.
Need help improving your ability to engage your prospects? Click here to get started and simply add the word “engagement.”
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