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In today’s world the internet is a must use tool in business 2 business sales prospecting. Think about the time it saves you in finding and gaining up to the minute information on any potential business, organization, and associations. The internet allows you to conduct searches to find businesses, and the names of the people you need to contact to sell your product or service.
Your online presence must produce the message and image that your target market will gravitate to and return to time and time and again. Clients are looking for solutions to their problems your site must provide a means to help them find the solutions that they are looking for. Your site must do what it promises to do. In order to please your clients you must “Under promise and over deliver”.
Online phone and e-mail directories are another way to find potential clients. Yellow pages.com (www.yellowpages.com), Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com), and WorldPages.com (www.worldpages.com) are three that you can use to find prospects. You can also run a search for more directories that can help you find your targeted clients.
You can also hire a list company like Dun & Bradstreet (www.dnb.com), InfoUSA (www.infousa.com), or IDG Communications list service (www.idglist.com) which now allows you to search and order lists of potential clients that you can download directly to your computer. Run a search to find other list companies that can offer this same type of service.
Business organizations are another way to find clients. If they have a web site listing you can use these listing to find the decision makers in the company’s that you wish to do business with. You would find it extremely helpful if you would join some of these organizations related to your industry, because other members may be a big help in reaching some of these decision makers.
Use your web site to get information to your prospects when you are not around. This can be accomplished by locating the exact URL (web address) for each piece of information that you need to see. Then send those URLs to the prospect in the order that the pages should be viewed. Send an e-mail explaining the importance of this with instructions on the order to view the pages.
You may also use an auto-responder which sends out an instant reply when someone contacts you online, fills out a form on a web site, or sends an email to a specific address. The auto-response could be an electronic receipt, information requested, or an e-course. This is extremely helpful today where people are always looking for information, they are pleased by instant access to the information that they have requested.
If the products and services that you are selling are complex you need a more in depth presentation. WebEx (www.webex.com) will allow you take your prospects through your own customized PowerPoint presentation from afar. You can also use webcasting in your sales presentations. Webcasting is like television done over the internet. If you wish to see a demonstration of how webcasting works visit WebCasting, Inc., at www.webcasting.com and look at its demos.
If you are in telephone sales or do a lot of long distance selling you can use your web site to enhance the prospective client’s satisfaction by directing him through the site while you are on the phone with him. This gives you the ability to walk the client through the site which is the next best thing to sitting at a table with them demonstrating or explaining your product. You can lead the prospects down the path of links that you created for your web site or you can follow an entirely different path that is dictated by the prospects questions and concerns. In order for this to be successful you must know absolutely what is on your site and what is not. You cannot allow yourself to get caught of guard by a client’s question.
Staying in touch with your clients is another service that the internet offers. You should make sure that you build long term relationships, and inspire loyalty with all of your clients. If you find an article that you feel will aid your clients with their business, email it to them with an “I’m thinking of you” note. Don’t forget about using e-mails to communicate messages.
William Dupree who has over 20years of experience in interactive marketing is the owner of Interactive Marketing & Promotional Solutions (www.intmktprosol.com) located in New York City, which specializes in developing interactive marketing strategies for small businesses.