How to get to know your target customer- The New Way

Our guest author is Don Battis, a savvy entrepreneur, businessman and financier that has a great story to tell about experienced salespeople using new technologies. He is currently the CEO and founder of Pawntique, an online pawn shop and serves as a director on the board of Great Island Technologies a Value Added Reseller for HubSpot, Box.net, and Shopify

I’m an “Old School” sales guy using new technology.

This is PART 2 of a post about getting to know your customer. This post describes the
process of gathering information about your target customers using technology. (Did you read part 1?)
Sales people today have technology, which makes lead intelligence much easier and
readily available. Potential customer intelligence is available through websites, blogs,
and online public documents. A little time spent searching these resources can give
you an edge to know what are the short and long term objectives and strategies of
the company. If you can connect those explicit or implied strategies with how your
product can help achieve them, you have an opportunity. And a similar analysis of your
competitors’ websites can help you evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.

On a more micro level, LinkedIn can give you a chronology of your guy’s educational
and job history. It also shows where he fits into his organization- the company as a
whole or his little corner of the world. LinkedIn allows you to figure out who else may
be an influencer or decision maker in your sale. Another feature of LinkedIn is that you
can see who is viewing your profile. You can assume that anyone who is checking you
out is probably interested in your offering.

Your prospect’s Facebook account is one of the best sources to find out what he is
interested in. Photos of family activities, hobbies, travel, and interesting news tell much
about a person’s inner workings.

Your prospect’s Twitter account reveals more than just the inane chitchat like “I just
went out for pizza.” Using the “Birds of a Feather Flock Together Principal”, you
can conclude that his twitter followers have some affiliation with him- likely to be co-
workers and business associates. By following the people he follows, you can stay
current on what they are thinking and discussing. This may be important if you want
to be part of their conversation. Remember, whenever possible, people want to do
business with people who have the same interests as them. They trust people in their
own “flock”. These same people are also likely prospects for you.

On your own website, you have tools available today that give you an information
advantage that is so powerful it’s almost unfair. Once a visitor identifies himself by
opting-in, you can track every page he has visited and every download. This tells
you exactly why he is interested and which features are important to him. Using
that intelligence, you can craft an offer to him based on exactly what you know he is
interested in. If a car dealer sees that a customer has been on the site and has downloaded
every article about safety, the dealer should forget about promoting the sleek body styling
or the awesome new sound system. By searching his Facebook account you might find
a family with young kids of “car seat age”. It might be a good idea to make an offer that
emphasizes vehicles that are easy to load small children and have top safety ratings.

Lead intelligence is very much like conducting surveillance- “watching” visitors enter
and wander around our website. They might just want to browse and explore for
themselves and not buy anything. But if they return, it’s an indication that they have a
need and we can nudge them along towards eventually becoming a customer. 

At Pawntique, we use HubSpot All-in-One Marketing Software. We are able to track the
activity from the IP address of a large competitor as they regularly visit our site. They
are watching our progress in the online pawn space and we are watching them watch us.
We have a complete history of all visits, page views, and downloads.

When potential customers opt-in, we can view their social media accounts to help
determine their interests. When a lead returns to our website, we get an email
notification. We then can gently reach out with an email that might refer to the pages
they visited. If they downloaded our eBook, The New Rules of Small Business Finance,
then we might mention how pawn loans have helped small businesses. If they have
downloaded our Pawning 101 Kit, we might mention our online chat capability that they
can use to ask questions.

The new Lead Intelligence technology can give sales people an important edge by
understanding their customers and their true interests. It is also much faster and more
efficient than the old face-to-face sales calls. A pipeline of leads from a wide geographic
area can be managed efficiently using the new tools.

So, what do you think? Was the Old Fashioned Way better than the New Technology way for
getting new sales?

Please comment and let me know your thoughts.
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One thought on “How to get to know your target customer- The New Way

  1. Really insightful article, Don! I just saw the piece Bloomberg did on you and Pawntique; too short but impressive. I didn’t realize you were connected to Shopify and HubSpot as well. Two really smart companies. Andrew Warner at Mixergy.com has interviewed principals of both and we use their services as a result. I particularly appreciate your comments regarding the use of Twitter. I’ve “blown them off” as a waste of my time but your input has forced me to re-evaluate this strategy.

    THANK YOU for your time and sharing your expertise.

    Jer – Trihouse

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