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  • Belinda Wells

The Magic of Number Seven!


My husband was listening to the radio when a friend called me one day a few months ago.

I turned down the sound down a little as it was one of those loud and catchy adverts that I think I had already heard several times that day.


My friend and I had a long catch-up chat. She is just starting her own business and was telling me about all the difficulties she was experiencing - in particular, she was complaining that she had spent loads of money on an advert to bring her customers and it hadn’t worked. She was very disillusioned! “I really need to be making money, not spending it” she said.


I must have been on the phone for about an hour. I think I got lost in her story!


I asked her, “Have you ever sat through a programme and noticed that the adverts in every break are the same? Or have you noticed when you listen to the radio you now know some adverts off by heart (especially the very annoying ones)??”


“Yes” she said.


So, what does that tell you?” I asked - expecting her to say that it means things take time, or people have to see something several times before they will act on it.


But no! She said, “Well it tells me that I’m wasting money if no one read my advert!”


I explained “the magic number seven” to her. The more people see or hear something, the more they remember it. It is a well-known saying that people need to see a message at least seven times before it sinks in or before they will act upon it. Maybe they don’t know you well enough yet, or - the time may not be right for them.


My friend was very sceptical and told me that she didn’t believe all that - it was just the magazines and papers way of trying to get you to advertise more. She went on to say how she felt she had wasted her money on the training she had done because there were no customers out there for her.


A few months later she had given up on her business and had gone back to her old a job.


Today I had a phone call. It was from a prospective client. As ususal I asked “How did you hear about me?’ She told me she had seen an advert, over a year ago now, and then she had seen the advert in several other places, but although she had been thinking about it, it had got pushed to the back of her mind. So, I asked her “Why have you called now?” She said, “Because today I saw the advert when it came out in the magazine again, and things haven’t changed for us since I first saw it over a year ago, so I need to do something about it now.”


I wonder what might have made the difference, that could have made all the difference to my friend?


And I wonder how many morals you can see in this story?

I think there must be quite a few!

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