3 Questions Every Professional Service Provider Must Answer
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Every professional service provider is unique. They offer different services, have different credentials and different target markets. They have more or less experience, and their reputations can vary dramatically. But, all service providers face a few of the same basic challenges. You can gain new clients and build your service business by knowing the answers to these three important questions and acting on your answers.
1. Why do customers choose you?
You might hope customers choose you because you are simply the best available. While that may be true in a way, you need to know the specific qualities, qualifications and services you offer that inspired your actual customers to make that choice. You’ll probably need to do some research to find out the most accurate answer. With data from your current marketing efforts and the results of surveys you send out to existing clients, you can begin to understand what key points your clients focused on when making that decision. With that information, you can build a buyer persona to help guide you in marketing your services.
Tip: You can use the answers you find out through research in your marketing materials. List what potential clients are looking for in bullet points on your website and other online marketing content as well as on physical marketing materials like flyers. Create a tag line that refers to the attributes clients love. Examples of bullet points or tag lines you might use include:
- Family-Owned/Local Business
- 20 Years’ Experience
- 5 Star Ratings or Customer Reviews
2. What sets you apart from your competition?
It’s a great idea to find out what customers like about you. What’s even better is to know why they prefer you to other similar service providers. When you learn that little bit of information, you can use it to set yourself apart from the competition in concrete ways that are easy for potential clients to understand.
Tip: Focus your marketing campaigns on what makes you different and indeed, superior as a service provider. Refer to specific facts and credentials that offer proof you’re the best provider for your clients’ needs. Then, put that information where people who are in the market for your services can find it – on your website, on your social media pages, and in your business blog.
3. What is the value in the service you provide?
No one is going to hire you if they see no value in what you provide. They have to know there is some benefit in paying for your services, or they just won’t bother. Service providers have a special challenge that those who sell products don’t have. Instead of being able to show the objective value of a physical product, service providers have to address the clients’ subjective and nebulous impressions of that value.
Tip: Whether you’re an accountant, a lawyer, or even a web designer, what you offer is not something your potential clients can take out, hold in their hands and examine. Yet, it does have advantages and benefits. Does your service help them save money? Does it help them promote their business and gain new clients/customers? Does it solve a specific type of problem for them? Your job in marketing yourself is to state those benefits clearly and in terms consumers can easily understand and appreciate.
Answering these basic questions is just the preparation for reaching consumers and gaining new clients. Yet, they are some of the most important first questions you need to answer before you make your marketing plan. Once you have the answers, you can use them to create content for your website, for social media posts and interactions, and in all your marketing content.
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