If your business provides service, odds are you already know that getting people to understand your offerings pose a big challenge. Why not? Marketing services strategy is tough because services are intangible, and selling intangible goods is challenging. Unlike physical products, you cannot touch, taste, or smell services. As a result, many entrepreneurs find it challenging to communicate their values. Similarly, such values are often easily misconceived by prospects when communicated.
Think of sales professionals, only a few people have the tolerance to listen to them. In fact, a great majority of people perceives salespeople as “hard of hearing and annoying.” The same is true for entrepreneurs whose marketing services strategy focuses on insurance, banking, accounting, internet, consulting, medical, or even politics. People tend to remember you more on the premise of past experiences, which sometimes are negative.
Why marketing services strategy is challenging
Most of the challenges entrepreneurs and small business owners face with finding the right marketing services strategy arise from the specific nature of the services they offer. Take for example; a prospective client wants to buy a financial plan package from you. All that matters to him or her is; “How much will I pay?”
The question could have been different if the prospect had the opportunity to inspect and experience the service in advance. Without experiencing the physical aspects of a service, clients often have difficulty in making buying decisions on services. That, in turn, increases the prospects’ risk perception and anxiety.
Your clients want conviction that the service you are selling them on is right for them. They want the assurance that your solutions will satisfy their needs when they use them. Their past experiences with similar services often give rise to unfair generalizations leading to such
Focus on Value and multiply Trust
If you fall in the above category, proving your difference to your audience could be your biggest challenge. Nevertheless, you can overcome the challenge if you focus on communicating your value propositions clearly to multiply trust.
What you tell prospective clients about what you do matters. How you explain the benefits and or results from your services give goes a long way. My experience is that many service entrepreneurs and CEOs project themselves by their company name, industry, or sector. They say things like; “‘I am a Consultant,’ ‘Politician,’ ‘Sales Guru,’ or ‘CEO of LastBank.'” Their communications focus more on them than on their clients. Telling your clients you are a consultant or CEO does not communicate anything about your ability to solve the clients’ problems. Instead, it portrays you as “one of them” in the clients’ minds. The result? you do not get any great response in return.
The key to effective marketing services strategy
1. Address the needs of the prospect
To attract your ideal clients’ attention with your message and grow your business to the next level, communicate in ways that elicit a “Tell me more…” response from your prospect. In other words, tailor your conversation to build confidence in your prospects’ minds about how you can address his or her needs.
Frame your marketing message to emphasize the results your service will create. For example, you can say; “I help retired military personnel integrate easily in the society,” or “I work with pensioners to help them enjoy an abundant lifetime.” Pretend that the words in the underline represent results of the offering.
2. Demonstrate you are credible
Give your prospects information about one or two clients you have helped with your solutions. But, be sure you have the clients’ permission to share his or her information with third parties. Prospective clients cherish information about results you created for your clients. At least, it provides them with the opportunity to evaluate your promise before taking a risk on you. By far, this increases prospects’ confidence and trust in your ability to satisfy their needs.
3. Share your experience
The number of years of experience you have been working in your industry is an important part of your achievement. Such experience reinforces your credibility also, and influences prospects’ buying decision positively or negatively. The same is true, for any relevant educational qualifications you have, or articles or books you may have published.
Be careful, though, to not sound bragging with your achievements, as doing so could trigger some signs of disrespect to the prospect. Let me also clarify that you do not need a certificate from Cambridge, Oxford, or Harvard to be able to feel confident about your work. Any relevant industry training is good enough unless your prospect specifically asks for a certificate from Cambridge.
Many service clients find it frustrating to evaluable the benefits a service provides, especially if you are meeting for the first time. Do not be in a hurry to make a sale when at the first contact. Instead, spend the time to educate your prospect on how your service will improve his or her circumstances. Doing so will help you create a positive expectation in their minds, as well as reduce their anxieties about you and your business.
Let me acknowledge that growing your business in the manner described in this post takes time. Worse still, in a fast-paced world of the Internet, where results are expected at the push of a button, many entrepreneurs and small business owners will definitely not care. Contrarily, my experience is that the effectiveness of your marketing services strategy; the plan that attracts quality high-end clients, who will willingly stay with your business for a long time, depends on everything I have shared with you. Not only will doing them sustain your business profitably, it also turn your clients into agents for attracting others clients like them for your business.
In my next post, I will share further insights on how you can articulate your value propositions to create a marketing services strategy that give you a clear marketing message.