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Are your leads ignoring you? Follow the 10-Second Rule of Messaging to prevent it.

March 02, 20234 min read

Ignoring a message from a friend may not bother you too much, but when it comes to potential customers, being ignored can hurt your heart, head, and bottom line. Have you ever received a batch of new leads for your business, only to find that almost none of them are responding to your messages? You're not alone. Salespeople everywhere are wondering if these leads are just bad, but in my experience, it's more important to consider whether your first message is hindering their response. That's where the 10-second rule of messaging comes in, helping you turn cold shoulders into meaningful conversations that lead to more sales.

Do You Know The 10- Second Rule?

The principle behind the 10-second rule is straightforward: if your message is something that your potential customer can read and reply to within 10 seconds, they'll respond right away. If it takes longer than 10 seconds, they'll likely put it off until later, which often means never responding at all.

It's essential to keep this rule in mind when crafting your first message to a new prospect. At this stage, you're still a stranger, so it's easy for busy prospects to overlook or forget about your message. It's not that they're bad leads; they're just preoccupied with other things, such as work, family, and friends.

To increase your chances of getting a response, make it as easy and convenient as possible for them to reply to your initial message. A simple "Ok" or thumbs-up 👍 will do. Once you establish this initial connection, it'll be much easier to continue the conversation, introduce your products or services, and get to know the lead.

By adhering to the 10-second rule, you'll be able to connect with prospects who might otherwise forget about you due to their busy schedules. They may be cooking dinner, waiting for an elevator, or standing in line for coffee, and checking their messages quickly. By making it easy for them to reply immediately, you'll be more likely to engage with them right away.

Mistakes That Break The 10-Second Rule

To increase your chances of getting a response from your leads when reaching out to them for the first time, it's important to avoid common mistakes that can break the 10-second rule. These mistakes can significantly reduce your chances of getting a reply, so it's essential to be aware of them and avoid them at all costs.

  • If you want to avoid breaking the 10-second rule and increase your chances of getting a response from your leads, it's important to avoid the common mistake of sending a first message that's too long. When you send a lengthy message that requires a lot of focus and attention to understand, your leads are unlikely to bother reading it - especially if they're busy, which is often the case. To ensure that your message is read, it's important to keep it short and sweet. In fact, your first message should take up less than half of your phone's screen.

  • Asking complex or numerous questions in your first message can be a turn-off for your leads as it requires them to invest time and effort into thinking. They may not be willing to spend that time at that moment, and may end up not replying at all. To avoid this, you should keep your questions simple and easy to answer. A good strategy is to ask a yes/no question that you know they will answer positively or give a quick thumbs-up.

  • When making your first outreach, avoid including links and attachments. Your leads won't know what to expect when they click on them, and they might not have the time to go through all the information. Additionally, popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and iMessage may not allow clickable links if you're texting without a response yet. Stick to a simple and concise message that can be easily read and replied to within 10 seconds.

But, I Need To!

However, if you have to provide your lead with all of this information, it's better to ask for their permission first. You can say something like, "Would you like me to send you a detailed brochure/video/website link?" This gives your lead the choice to receive the information when they have time to review it, rather than overwhelming them with too much information upfront. It also shows that you respect their time and priorities.

It's understandable to want to provide all necessary information to encourage leads to convert. However, bombarding them with all the details in the first message can be overwhelming and counterproductive. Remember, the goal of the 10-second rule is not to make a sale in the first interaction, but to get a response from the lead.

Instead, focus on making it easy for them to respond by keeping your message short and simple. Once they reply, you can gradually introduce more information about your products or services during the conversation. This approach allows you to establish a connection with your lead and increase the likelihood of a successful conversion in the future.

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Christophe Bruneau

In addition to answering customer questions and technical support questions about software, I help our customers build tools to increase their sales. My ability to ask the right questions helps determine exactly what they need. Together we determine the projects, software and support tailored to their needs. For some, it could be our fully featured CRM with a marketing and workflow builder. The client pack I create is designed to streamline communication with each of their clients and prospects so they can easily share their message and increase sales. In some cases, clients ask me to build a personalized webinar from start to finish. The result is a complete plug-and-play package with which they can successfully launch their latest product or service. To complement our ever-expanding list of client offerings, I recently developed a complete platform certification program to teach entrepreneurs, OBMs, virtual assistants and more how to develop critical knowledge about our platform so they can build their own business by helping clients in the software.

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