Who Will Buy Your Professional Services?
By: Sandy Barris

Are you an engineer, IT consultant or a dentist? How about a business coach, facilities manager, project manager or any of the thousands of professional services wanted by millions of businesses?

Have you recently been downsized or layed off? Or, have you retired and are climbing the walls wanting to get back in the game.

If so, stop and pull out your magic wand, wave it around a few times and imagine creating the perfect professional services business —without fear of failing—what would it look like?

Got it pictured. Now, take your magic wand and break it in half because whatever professional service business you choose to create, you’ll always be in sales and marketing business.

Why, because if you won’t market and close business deals, you’ll have a rough time staying in business.

Of course, one of the keys to your success in a professional service business is knowing, without a doubt, who will want and can afford to buy whatever it is you are offering.

One of the ways to get started is to figure out what and who the perfect client may look like to you:

  • What business niche are they in?
  • What markets do they serve?
  • Who supplies that business niche with goods & services
  • Where is that niche located?
  • Are there enough businesses in that niche to be profitable?
  • Can they afford your services?
  • Who would recommend their products or services

Answer these questions and you’ll be well on your way to discovering exactly who’ll want your services.

Next, market to your perfect client using many different marketing approaches. Some will work better than others. Some will start out like gang busters then fad off. Others will crash and burn with no ROI. It’s all good because every success and failure is a lesson and brings you closer to succeeding in your business.

The key here is to create an overall marketing strategy that includes 15 or more marketing tactics. The more marketing tactic you try, the greater your chance of getting in front of the perfect future client.

Keep in mind people absorb information in different modes. Some people like information presented verbally. Talk to them face-to-face; send them a CD/DVD or an Mp3 they can listen to in their car.  Others want info visually; they like to see videos, graphs, charts and pictures to fully understand what you offer.

You should test many different marketing tactics.

  • Build an optimized website and use the Internet to describe the benefits of your service using video, audio and the written word.
  • Go to networking events.
  • Approach your suppliers for referrals.
  • Host webinars and pod casts because they are the 21 Century brochure.
  • Grow your database
  • Email market your growing database
  • Create a local Pay-per-click internet marketing campaign
  • Develop a social media marketing plan
  • Join LinkedIn, Facebook and 3-4 of the other top SMM sites.
  • And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Whatever marketing you do, provide a compelling reason to try out your services. If a future client has a choice between many similar services or does not have a compelling need to buy your service, your company will not grow fast.

Targeting big business? Your ideal future client may be hidden deep within the corporate structure. Professional service providers have sometimes found it was easier to sell at a department level rather than target the CFO.

But, it can pay to go to the top first, so you can name drop to the rungs down under. Granted, it’s a lot harder to get to the CXO’s. Is it worth the effort, you’ll have to be the judge. Now, keep in mind that when you do get in front of the CXO, birds of a feather flock together and it could be your ticket into many more C-level opportunities.

Discover what your perfect future client looks like, and how to get in front of him/her and you’ll be well on your way to growing a successful professional service business.

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