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Sales Training Tip #395: Are Customers Stalking You?

Are customers and prospects stalking you?

The sales profession continues to change, and one of the biggest ways it has changed is in how salespeople prospect.

The days of “smiling and dialing” are quickly going away as the effectiveness of cold-calling continues to diminish.  More and more, the way to develop new customers is by using a blended sales model consisting of any number of different sales techniques.

One sales technique I believe is becoming more and more critical is what I call “stalking marketing.” This is where the customer stalks you, the salesperson.

Information is everywhere now, but if we look back a few years, it was the salesperson who brought information to the customer.  Today, it’s just the opposite. The customer has the ability to find out anything they want without having to deal with a salesperson.

This is what I call “stalking marketing,” where the customer uses the internet to find out everything they want regarding something. Only when they are ready to buy do they contact a salesperson.

How do you win at stalking marketing?

You have to be sure you have established a strong presence on the internet.  You can’t win if the customer can’t find you.  Keep in mind that what this means is there are many more prospective customers out there than you will ever know.

If by chance you sell in a specific area to a specific group of customers, you know “stalking marketing” is still important.  For this latter group, it’s about building confidence. For the former group, it’s about building awareness.  In both cases “stalking marketing” is real and it’s being used by far more customers than we will ever know.

Just remember that your customers and prospects are going to see your footprint on the internet either intentionally by searches they do or by accident by merely stumbling across your name and information.

Again in both cases it’s important to ensure your voice is being heard.  This means not just having a decent website but it also making sure your information is available on other sites where customers or prospects may visit.

To achieve the presence you need to win at “stalking marketing” you must take the time to develop a strategy regarding what information you share and what sites with which you align yourself.

One way to start is to do a Google search on your name, your competitors’ names and keywords relevant to your industry.  By minimally doing this, you can begin to gain an understanding as to what you need to do.

If you don’t think this is a valuable exercise, then let me remind you that this is exactly what your customers and prospects are doing all the time.  If you’re expecting to interact with your customers, then you had better know how they’re intending to interact with you.

A key reason why I’m a firm believer in “stalking marketing” is many times customers will go through a period of research where they may follow a particular subject or concern for months or even years before getting serious about making a decision.

It’s at this point where the customer is becoming serious about making a decision that you want to be ready to assist.  This happens many times when companies are looking at buying new equipment — or an individual is looking at making a major purchase.  The better you are  at “stalking marketing” —  or shall I say putting good information on the web to allow customers to stalk you — the more qualified leads you’ll find yourself receiving.

Additionally, your existing customers will gain more confidence in you and the service you provide.  In both cases, you’ll be able to more effectively leverage your sales time, because you’ll be spending more time with motivated prospects and confident customers.

In my opinion, this sure beats spending time with people who are nothing more than suspects and customers who are always second guessing you at every turn.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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