While teaching a Guerrilla Marketing Jumpstart class this week, we were talking about the power of online tools like blogs and Facebook. I told the class that having a good online presence allows prospects to “stalk” you. At this point the class, of mostly women, was shocked that I was suggesting they set themselves up to be stalked. Now that I had their attention, I went on to explain what I meant.
If you are providing a professional service such as a Financial Planner, Professional Writer, Accountant, Bookkeeper, Consultant, Business Coach, etc. you need to develop a relationship with your prospects before they will do business with you.
People buy from those they ‘know, like and trust’.
Traditionally creditability is built by meeting prospects at networking events and setting up meetings with them so you have the opportunity to get to know them and develop a relationship. Once the relationship has been developed, you will be able to determine if your service is a good fit.
This process works, but you are always involved in the process. If you want to attract more clients you will need to improve the process. You will need to find ways to meet with multiple people at once or ways to develop the ‘know, like and trust’ without being present.
One way to develop ‘know, like and trust’ with more than one person at a time is to give free or paid seminars. This allows you to build your ‘know, like and trust’ with a group of prospects. This works great if you are able to get a group of prospects together and you have good material to present. Giving presentations is a great way to build a relationship with a group of prospects.
What if you could start the process of developing the relationship without being present?
Your social media presence, website and blog posts can be used to introduce you to prospects. You want to create an online presence that allows the prospect to “stalk” you and start to build the relationship before you ever meet them. If you allow prospects to learn about you from your online presence they will be a warm lead when you meet them. It is a lot easier to close a sale with a warm lead than a cold call.
One of the reasons a Blog site can be so effective is that prospects can “stalk” your website and learn about you, your business philosophy, your product/service offerings, how easy you are to do business with, your commitment to causes and what your satisfied customers say about you.
Often prospective buyers return to a website several times before they make any personal contact with your company. An effective Blog site, written in a conversational style using personal stories with a picture of the owner or staff can be as valuable as a personal referral from a satisfied customer. People buy from those they ‘know, like and trust’. If you give them the opportunity to get to know you via your online presence, you are likely to find them ready to buy the moment you meet them.
Become professionally “stalkable”. With a plan you can maintain your online presence in fifteen to twenty minutes a day. The best part is that this is a very inexpensive way to build relationships and attract more clients.