One critical foundational step for effective marketing is to
develop a core difference...that is, to show how you are different, unique in
your industry. But an article based
on a recent survey in Marketing Sherpa shows that service professionals
(accountants, lawyers, engineers, etc.) have a pretty narrow range to play with
in creating this difference.
The article says that differentiation for service professionals is a challenge because clients typically look for qualities such as reliability, trustworthiness and an ability to do things by the book -- which means firms can't go too far touting themselves as a radical alternative to the norm.
The survey showed that service professionals rely heavily on referrals which might not serve them well. Older, established firms can rely on this method but younger firms need to focus more on lead generation to survive and flourish.
One interesting lead generation tactic that has worked surprisingly well for service professionals is the old-fashioned, unloved cold-calling. But cold-calling for service professionals must be done correctly. You must know a little bit about who you're calling and you need to have an offer...a free report or seminar.
The study showed that the toughest aspect of lead generation for service professionals is finding the time to do it. Are you a service professional? What is your take on the article?