How long does it take for a prospect to become a customer? Well, let's first look into the chemistry of prospects. Prospects are like you except that they're probably doing business with one of your competitors. Fortunately for you, that competitor most likely doesn't know the full meaning of follow-up, with the result that most customers feel ignored after the sale.

These are among your hottest prospects. They already do business with a company such as yours and may be disenchanted because they've been left alone after making their purchase. That's why guerrillas identify their best prospects and then begin the courtship process. It is a courtship and it is a process. Armed with that insight, you can transform them into customers.

Most business owners contact prospects once or twice, and if they don't show an interest, the business owners move on to greener territories, on to the non-existent Land of Instant Gratification. Guerrillas continue romancing those they are courting. Eventually, those prospects feel so cared for, so important, so attended to, that they switch over and begin to patronize the guerrilla who never stops courting.

How long does it take until this happen? Try seven years on for size. That's the outside. It could happen in a month, even a week or less if the prospects are in the market right now and neglected by their former supplier. But it probably won't happen soon and it most assuredly won't happen if you ignore them after contacting them once or twice.

Prospects have minds that are more open than you think. Allegiances are lost and gained every day. Guerrilla marketers don't lose them because they recognize the slow motion process of gaining them. When they speak to prospects, they do not talk about their businesses or their industries. They talk about the prospects themselves, the topic most on the mind of prospects. When guerrillas talk about the problems facing prospects, they gain even more attention.

When they talk about solutions to these problems, they still see things from the prospects' points of view and talk from that mindset. As weeds are flowers whose beauty has not yet been discovered, prospects are customers who have not yet realized all that you can offer them. Give them time, information, attention. People patronize the businesses they do for an enormously wide variety of reasons. Frequently, it is mere habit. Guerrillas know that the prime reason is that buyers have confidence in the sellers.

Keep in mind that people are attracted to businesses that have established credibility. You get it with superb marketing and commitment to a plan. Marketing continues to be a blend of art, science, business and patience. It works. But it rarely works instantly. That's why the most crucial ingredient in the blend called marketing is your own patience.

(Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the "Guerrilla Marketing" series of books, the most popular marketing series in history with 14 million sold, now in 39 languages. At his new , you'll find lots of profit-producing ideas plus a list of 100 marketing weapons. Join up for phone and online access to The Father of Guerrilla Marketing.)

Customizable LEATHER SPINSTER WEAR tshirts
Have more to say about being single and female? Say it on your tshirt!