Marketing professional services is not an adversarial process.
Nor does it result in a win-lose scenario in which the marketer 'wins' while leads or prospects are somehow 'captured' and converted to clients.
For reasons I have never understood, marketing especially the sales component, is commonly seen as a competitive process between seller and buyer.
A successful outcome occurs when the seller 'wins the buyer over' and the sale is completed.
Buying a new or used motor vehicle can certainly become a competition between buyer and seller, each wanting the best deal.
Similarly, the purchase and sale of other commodities and tangible consumer goods are frequently adversarial processes between vendor and customer.
Making The Transformation
There is however a huge difference between providing intangible professional services and supplying tangible products.
Unlike standardized commodities, professional services are one-of-a-kind, transformational relationships.
Service professionals help their clients make the transformation from where they (the clients) are to where they want to be.
To successfully complete this transformation, a mutually trusting relationship between service professionals and clients is essential.
Realistically, it is difficult to develop this kind of a relationship following a competitive or adversarial marketing process in which the prospect is won over to become a client.
At its best, professional service marketing is the first stage of building and maintaining relationships that allow us to serve and satisfy clients. Satisfied clients inevitably leads to an ongoing, sustainable flow of repeat and referral business.
The best way to attract potentially ideal clients is to help them understand how as service professionals we help people like them. In practice, this means carefully targeted information- and education-based communications...not standardized, mass marketing.
How They Will Benefit
Instead of trying to 'win-over' reluctant or unwilling prospects, help them understand how they will benefit from becoming clients.
By all means, showcase your personal likability and trustworthiness as well as your professional competence.
But focus on the benefits that clients can expect when they hire you.
Without breaching client confidentiality, tell the stories of transformations in which you have played a key role.
When and where appropriate, include client testimonials that confirm your ability to help clients.
Effectively serving and satisfying clients depends upon maintaining inter-personal relationships with them.
What better opportunity to start building these relationships than as part of your marketing?
Obviously, if you want to build mutually beneficial relationships with potential clients, it’s necessary to find them … and then connect with them.
Attract Potentially Ideal Clients
One common approach to finding new clients is to prospect for leads, who might be converted into clients.
Based on the model of searching for precious metals, this is a slow and arduous process.
Having identified cold leads, the next step is to convert these people into warm leads, a process which includes promoting your services, while simultaneously qualifying these folks as ideal clients for you and your services.
Once converted to warm leads, the next step is to sell your services and close the deal—convince them to hire you. Selling…argh!!
A much better approach to finding new clients is to attract potentially ideal clients.
This approach starts with distinguishing yourself from competitors who provide comparable services to the same market as you.
Your personal brand will distinguish you and your services from the competition, helping you stand out in a noisy crowded marketplace.
Clearly distinguishing yourself from the competition and standing out in the marketplace will help potentially ideal clients find you.
And as well as helping new clients find you, your personal brand will help them understand how you can help them.
A Compelling Reason For Choosing You
The best way to attract ideal clients is to offer them a compelling reason for choosing you instead of the competition.
Developing a powerful rationale for clients to choose you instead of the competition is neither creative fiction, nor is it advertising spin.
Remember that your combination of resources is unique to you. No one else possesses the exact same collection of skills, talents, know-how and experience as you do.
This means that no one else serves clients exactly the same way as you. Your distinctiveness contributes to the rationale for prospective clients choosingyou.
With a sound and honest compelling reason for choosing you, potential clients will ignore the crowded field of competitors shouting for attention.
Standing out from the crowd, you can focus on attracting the new clientsyou want, need and deserve. All professional services marketing strategiesshould be this effective.
How strong is the compelling reason you offer for choosing you instead of the competition?
How Personal Branding Generates More New Business is a video course will help you learn what you need to know to develop a personal brand that will help you attract more new clients.
Until the end of August, this course includes FREE laser coaching.
With this coaching, we will clarify your personal brand so that it distinguishes youand also offers potentially ideal clients a compelling reason for choosing you.