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Sales shadows are annoying. Everyone has visited a store to browse the racks of stuff. It is frustrating when a clerk appears and follows us around. They frequently ask if they can be of help.
Sales shadows have long been a problem. But today, sales shadowing is entering a new era on the net.
Social media sites capture all sorts of information about us. They think that they can anticipate our future buying habits. And, no doubt, it is true to some extent.
If you buy a handbag and shoes today, it's likely that you will be buying more soon. Social media has tapped into your habits and interests.
But it's more than that. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, ads pop up for handbags and shoes on unrelated sites you visit. Sales shadows are following you around.
Example: Eleanor built her website, deciding to make it simple. She offered her collectibles there, as well as on eBay and Etsy. Using social media, she attracted a good deal of attention for her offerings. When net advertisers showed up wanting her to carry their ads, she declined. She also passed up opportunities to accept associate ads, reasoning that visitors did not want to be bothered. This meant that she did not get any revenue from the associate ads, but it was a small price to pay.
Example: Kevin runs a large hardware store. He hires employees who are experienced and knowledgeable. He trains new employees to always be generous with help for shoppers, but never to follow them around the store. His customers appreciate the help, and they also appreciate not being bothered.
Sales shadows are not good for business. Whether you operate a store or offer stuff on the web, beware of sales shadows.
Yesterday's automobile salesman got a bad reputation--deservedly so. They followed you around and used all sorts of pressure techniques to make the sale. Sales shadows in social media need to join them on the trash heap of history.