Stalking in its extreme refers to stealthy, obsessive tracking of someone or something (a.k.a. “prey”) by someone (a.k.a. “predator.”)
However, at a more basic level, stalking, or stalk, is a hunting term, meaning “to track prey or quarry.”
Not quite as scary – and not necessarily a negative – when you think about it like that.
Sometimes we find ourselves obsessively pursuing customers and prospects at an unhealthy level. Desperate to bag our prey – a.k.a. make sales – we search high and low, and, having spotted our quarry, pursue it relentlessly.
Sound creepy? It is. Yet all too often we think that this don’t-take-no-for-an-answer approach is the right way to make sales.
The problem with this approach to customer acquisition is that our customers and prospective buyers aren’t prey, they’re people. And people don’t like to be lured, harassed, harangued and hassled into buying submission.
But there is an aspect of stalking that doesn’t cross over into the negative, and that goes back to the idea of hunting. Since time on this planet commenced and men were forced to hunt for food and clothing, mankind has endeavored to master aspects of hunting, including stalking.
One aspect of stalking in relationship to the hunt is understanding the behavior, habits and habitat of the animal that you desire to catch. Likewise, when it comes to customers and prospective clients, it’s healthy and helpful for you to spend time studying the behaviors, habits and habitat of those you most want to catch!
People don’t like to be lured, harassed, harangued and hassled into buying submission. They do, on the other hand, like being wooed, persuaded and educated as to how they can bring the benefits they want (benefits as provided by your business’s products or services) into their lives.
So when is stalking a good thing when it comes to customer acquisition?
Stalking is good when it manifests itself within your business in the form of building buyer personas, or buyer profiles.
Stalking is a good thing when it places your marketing messages in front of the people you most want to attract to your business as new customers.
And stalking is a good thing when it results in your business strategically pursuing and attracting the people you most want to attract to your business.
Get more on buyer personas in the 2013 Small Business Marketing Calendar: 12 Ways to Cheat at Marketing which is available on amazon.com in print or digital format.
- 12 Ways to Cheat at Marketing: The 2013 Small Business Marketing Calendar
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- What You Will Find In the 2013 Salon and Spa Marketing Calendar – Now Available on Amazon.com (thesavvystylist.wordpress.com)