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Stalking or Selling?

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by: Will Schnabel (@wschnabel)
28 January 2008

“Hello, I just noticed you were browsing our page on Widgets, and was wondering if I could answer any questions you may have.”

“Um, no, I’m OK for now, but I’ll call you if I’m interested later.”

“I also see that you downloaded a white paper and spent 30 minutes on our Web site”

“Well, no not really. I just stepped away from my desk to get back to my own work, which I should be doing now.”

You get the scenario. With the advent of advanced marketing techniques, especially around online marketing, advertisers are learning more and more about a person’s behavior and online activity.  But how much is too much, and how do you best use this information to enhance campaigns and assist sales in the selling process?

There are a wide range of companies offering simple alerting technologies--an enticing option to a sales organization starving for new ways find revenue opportunities. However, having a salesperson “alerted” whenever someone is directly performing an online activity can often send the wrong first impression. The real value of knowing a prospect’s activity is to better gauge their interests and provide relevant, timely information tailored to their needs.  This can assist a prospect in their buying process, while adhering to their requested preferences.  Providing sexy pop-ups and indicators to sales may look enticing, but may feed into a style of selling that hinders long-term relationship building with prospects and clients.

By putting the customer or prospect preferences first, you can help to build the right relationship from the start. In BtoB selling, the lifetime value of a relationship begins with the impression a company provides. Remember, you may get someone to provide their information the first time, but if you turn them off, it will be nearly impossible to get them back.




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