Professional services marketing is concerned with explaining why people should use your services over anyone else’s.
Success depends on demonstrating your insights into problems and offering better ways of improving business performance.
The key to developing your services is tapping into your knowledge and skills and those of your colleagues.
This is not easy as many people are tempted to use industry marketing spiel based on what they’ve heard and read.
This leads to generic speak and everyone sounding the same. Setting yourself apart from the herd means examining your knowledge and skills and making it part of your marketing game plan.
1. Carefully examine your knowledge and skills in relation to each service offering
Before starting work on your marketing campaign, carefully examine your knowledge in relation to each service.
Make lists for each team member and compare with your service offering. Include projects that led you into new areas. Document important lessons that were learned and feedback from your clients.
2. Identify changes that could lead to new services
Don’t assume what you offered two years ago is what you have to offer now. You’re underselling your business if you do.
Look at what you’ve accrued in the last two years. Knowledge and skills grow with new experiences. This applies to everyone in your team. List changes that could expand services or make them better. Did you take on a new team member with specialist skills?
List trends offering new service opportunities.
Examine new government legislation offering scope for new services or requiring changes to existing services.
3. Compare your answers to questions 1 and 2.
(This is not relevant if you’re a startup business.)
You might be surprised by the opportunities and potential new services you could offer.
These early stage questions help identify new opportunities, sharpen your marketing messages and ensure you’re up to date.
4. Be new and fresh and avoid popular jargon
It’s easier to use jargon than to think carefully about the best way to explain your expertise. Jargon is likely to trigger preconceived ideas in your reader’s mind causing them to switch off.
People tend to switch off when they think they know what you’re going to say. So don’t allow people to misunderstand you before they’ve heard you.
5. Make it easy for decision-makers
You owe it to yourself to ensure your hard-earned knowledge and skills are recognised and appreciated by decision-makers.
So it’s important they fully understand the value of your contribution to their business.
6. Compare service features against client’s problems
Examine everything in your own experience that is relevant to your client’s biggest challenge. Look at past projects, talk to your team members. Look at lessons learned on previous assignments, they’re rarely documented, so spend time talking to key people. Don’t rush. Don’t make assumptions if there are gaps. List your questions and look for the right answers.
7. Use success stories
Demonstrate your expertise using success stories. Be generous, but don’t give too much away. You have to build confidence and trust.
Use an anecdote to illustrate something outstanding about your business. Denominate benefit in financial or productivity terms.
It could be a money-saving idea that saved your client a lot of money. Or it could be joint expertise on a collaborative project or
a patent for an invention. You are different, so promote the difference that makes the difference.
8. Be the voice of a friend
Offer advice and help whenever you can. People bond with people, not companies. Don’t be afraid to speak naturally. We do it in the bar, coffee shop and on the golf course. More and more meetings are being held outside the office.
Contact Francis Newman for help with your professional services marketing.