It's not always about sales training. The most common mistake I see with Services marketing is the 'it's all about me syndrome'. All of a company's letters, web site, and networking interactions are all about the company and what you can do. Without being too brutal here, most people do not care! They are not too interested in knowing what you HAVE, DO, or KNOW. They want to know what is in for the them.

In the simplest scenario they have a problem and they are looking for a solution. The company that can clearly articulate -

"I understand you, I know what your frustrations are and I know how to solve them." - will be the one that is the most successful. This sounds simple, I know, however the majority of my prospective clients still have an inward way of thinking and say: "this is what we have got and this is what we can do - do you want some?"

At the other extreme many prospective service clients do not always realise they have a need for a service. In this case, only a clear articulation of the beneficial outcomes, and not the process used will spark that magic moment when someone says "we need to meet".

How can service businesses effectively do this?

By focusing on solutions and benefits - in every communication you have with a prospective client.

Specific Targeting:

Much has been written about this and many people pay lip service to it yet most companies I work with can't clearly answer the following questions:

Target Message: Who exactly are you talking to?

Problem/Solution: What is the concern of your prospective clients and what is the solution?

Benefits: What are all of the ways your services help your clients?

Unique Competitive Advantage: What makes you stand out in a way that makes a difference to your clients?

Risk Reversal: What are you promising to deliver that reduces the perceived risk of your clients?

I do not underestimate the difficulty in clearly defining these things. Yet if they can be achieved they will make the difference between a good and a truly great business.

A well used example of a service business that used this to catapult them from nowhere to a major worldwide organisation was Dominoes Pizza. Their whole marketing was based around their slogan:

"Hot, fresh pizza in 30 minutes or less, or it's free"

They knew their uniqueness, they invented it!

Note that not once does Dominoes say the Pizza will be tasty. It probably isn't the best pizza available but to their prospective clients it was unique. They knew it would be with them in 30 minutes or it would be free. Their needs have been met. Unlike the competition who would say:

"It could be 90 minutes. I just don't have the drivers and when you get them you can't trust them. And besides I just can't forecast my demand. Any way it'll be with you tonight sometime."

You don't always need sales training but if you do need sales consultancy then I would be glad to help. Look out for part 2 and 3 on this site

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