Posted by IndustryArchive Admin on 02/06/2017 Sales Prospecting

5 Startling Reasons to Respect Not Dissect Sales Prospects

By: Robert Hennessey

5 Startling Reasons to Respect Not Dissect Sales Prospects

Do you practice the "golden rule" of sales prospecting for a better Web? Start respecting sales prospects, as you would like them to respect you.

It may come as a shock to many marketers, but business people do not go to the Web wanting to become victims of targeting and data mining. Data mining combined now with predictive marketing is the new Holy Grail of Web marketing.

Why this is disturbing is that permission marketing is now another advertising scam. It once seemed like a viable approach to protecting all of us from receiving unwanted and annoying advertisements. Providing your name and email is now de facto permission to continue to receive an onslaught of emails every time you view a piece of content.

How Dissecting Sales Prospects Works

  • You view a piece of what you think might be interesting content, so you decide to relinquish your basic contact information. You have not however given permission to what happens next.

  • Then unknown to you, algorithms are hard at work searching databases to identify what other pages, forms, and personal information exist in cyberspace. All to know through data mining there is to know about you. Then once they have mined sufficient personal data about you, hold on to your seat.

  • You will start receiving more emails, banner, and native ads will appear on almost every content page you visit that match your assumed subject interests.

  • Finally, your accumulated information from data mining is repeatedly sold to any number, Of unknown companies that want to sell you something, also.

I am a business professional and marketer, and I have become gun-shy every time I think I want to fill out a form. I have to ask myself, is this piece of content worthy of the level of aggravating emails and ads to come?

As this game of online advertising gotcha continues, we can only hope that either we will all-wise up and refuse that enticing free content lure, which often is not quality content and never free. We can all hope that ad-blocking software will continue to grow in its use and become even more sophisticated as explained by Doc Searls in his blog series click below.

Beyond ad blocking — the biggest boycott in human history: http://j.mp/bcott (http:/ j.mp/bcott)

A Quick History Lesson

It always seems we have been here before right. Remember when we all wanted to be advertised to when banner ads were our first experience with web advertising. Marketers, please wake up.

Just as in 1999, yes I know that was centuries ago, but it is history, and we can all learn from history if we so desire. We learned how to cope with banner ads.

"We know where banners are located, and therefore, we know how to skip over them since we aren't *looking* for ads. We are looking for information. Thus, there is banner "blindness." Source:" Usability Perspective on Banner Ads, by John S. Rhodes June 1999

The Web is not just another "pipe" as radio or TV was to send relentless waves of advertising down to the other end of which waits for a brainless audience. Unlike radio and TV, the Web was not founded to entertain people and sell products. The Web was originated to allow people to find and share information. The struggle to maintain the freedom of the Web to empower people versus enslaving them remains under attack like never before.

Now that the Madison Ave "MAD Men" have gone techno wild we now have the latest version of we can sell you anything. They will send you, hundreds of disguised ads (called native advertising), with deceptive messages and by building a personal data bank on everyone they will know exactly the information you want at all times. Do you believe that? They do.

It is because the Web has its roots as an information medium first that the old ad rules and new do not apply even with their techno gurus.

Can they reduce our lives to the web pages we view? More importantly, do we honestly find "helpful" the intruding ads centered on the last web page we viewed or does it make you feel creepy? Advertisers want us to believe this is "helpful" to us. Isn't it just useful to them to push their products and services in our faces? I can and prefer to research my business needs for products and services for myself and compare my options before I buy, how about you?

Todays, soccer Mom can also be a working business professional and have parents that have a debilitating disease. Her interests and her need for information are as varied and changeable her life. Try to put today's sales prospect in a box, and you run the risk of either insulting, scarring or missing their real interests all together.

Sure, entertainment is and is becoming a bigger part of how people use the Internet, but it will not supplant its information bedrock. Viewers in general and especially in this medium are more sophisticated today and understand the nature of various kinds of content that they seek especially among business professionals. So, what is the answer?

What the Madison Ave crowd does not want you to know is that buyers are in charge not sellers in the Internet Age. They are doing their best to convince business sellers that the opposite is true. They do this because, if you accept that buyers are in charge, then your approach to advertising to those buyers must change from the old advertising ways when sellers were in charge. Advertisers just apply the old ad ways with the new technology of native advertising and data mining in an attempt to keep the control of selling products and services in the hands of advertisers serving sellers.

5 Common Sense Reasons to Respect Sales Prospects

There are five common sense reasons to appreciate your sales prospects given the new power shift in the b2b buyer/seller relationship that will make converting sales prospects to customers easier and more profitable.

Reason 1: Respect How Your Audience Wants to Receive Information on Your Products & Services

As a business professional, I am both a seller and buyer of business products and services. I for one prefer that finally business can be conducted not by deception but on the merits of quality ideas and solutions that are best for my business without the in your face marketing and promotion of yesteryear. It appears I am not alone.

Source: http://www.slideshare.net/NewsCred/50-best-stats-presentation/37

Source: http://www.slideshare.net/NewsCred/50-best-stats-presentation/31

Reason 2: Stop Profiling & Data Mining Your Potential Customers

The second most grievous mistake about web advertising is the assumption regarding profiling by Advertisers. Specifically, that if they can profile viewers, then there is no reason they should not. Based on their profile Viewers are then targeted with "helpful" advertising messages.

However, these same old techniques used offline produce no better results than online. Offline target marketing produces results of 2-5% regarding turning suspects into prospects. Online the results are the same or worse.

  • The ·average click-through rate for B2B marketing e-mails in Q2 2013 was 1.7% 

Mark The Marketer (http://markthemarketer.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/73- astonishing-e-mail-marketing-statistics-you-need-to-know/).

  • Across all ad formats and placements, Ad CTR is 0.06% So, this is less than 1 click per 1000 impressions. 

Smart Insights (http://www.smartinsights.com/internet-advertising/internet-advertising-analytics/display-advertising-clickthrough¬rates/)

With these levels of "success," why dissect your potential customers. Alternatively, write blogs and high-quality content that provides useful information to your sales prospects and when they search for answers to their business problems they will find you. When they call you, that is a real sales lead.

Reason 3: Customers Now Are Targeting You!

Though Advertisers cannot productively or accurately target Viewers on the Web, Viewers can and do indirectly and now directly "target" advertisers that provide information and solutions that satisfy their needs. Sales prospects that sign-up for your Blog or request contact not before, but after they have read and learned about your business solutions is the only way to respect prospects and not dissect them. Learn to become a target of your sales prospects and stop targeting them. Sales prospects will let you know when they want to engage, they will contact you.

Reason 4: Always Put Your Sales Prospects First

Avoid mind dulling content be sure your content is quality and relevant to your audience. Insist that the environment surrounding your content be professional. Be sure the web page your content resides on does not draw attention away from your content with annoying banner ads, native ads or inappropriate images. These distractions discredit your content quality and disrespect your viewer.

Remember your objective is to attract and inform a prospective client that you have solutions to their particular business problem. Do not use a hard sell approach and tell them how great your company is and your products or services. Demonstrate your firm's value through stories how you have helped others overcome similar problems.

You are looking to forge a marriage of self-directed discovery where two parties find each other based on an intellectual exchange of customer-centric communication, not meaningless ad slogans and embellished capabilities.

Reason: 5: Respecting Your Prospects Is the Better Way to Market on the Web

The Internet has put the Viewer in charge and has all but excluded cost-effective target marketing. Respecting sale prospects embraces Viewer Control as a central Web reality; its viewer-centric approach gives you a simpler and affordable marketing alternative that maximizes your sale prospect's ability to "target" you. This method is not another adaptation of what was ineffective in countless iterations of eyeball attraction, attention or target marketing on the Web.

While your sales prospect is in control on the Web, get control of your marketing. Invest in content marketing to produce high-quality content in the form of blogs, articles, application stories, and white papers. Content that will convince viewers that you have smart, proven business solutions for companies like them.

Bottom Line

B2B marketers need to stop targeting and dissecting sales prospects and start finding ways to respect prospects in their marketing approach and focus on turning them into customers by satisfying their needs.

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