Marketing Your Benefits Not Your Bling
When I was young I remember my father teaching me the difference between wants and needs. Whenever I would ask for something he would sometimes reply, “Now, do you need that or do you want that.” Now that I’m the adult I remember his words and while I still make impulse buys, when I’m considering a major purchase the lesson of wanting or needing always sticks in the back of my mind. Just ask my wife!
In today’s difficult economy, the majority of people make significant purchases of products and services based on a hard need or benefit and not simply for the features or ”wow” factor. Think about your last major purchase, it probably met a need, correct? For the seller, however, they won your business by being focused on recognizing and meeting your needs.
Clients are no different. They most often have an immediate need that needs to be met – they are not doing business with you simply because they want to. Given the competitive market we are currently in, all professional service firms need to make sure that they are taking care of their clients needs first and foremost and with the utmost efficiency. No client is ever a slam-dunk. While a potential partner may value your relationship and want to work with you and your firm, if you and your firm are not meeting the company’s primary needs, you risk loosing that business to a more responsive competitor.
When you plan for your client service objectives this year, make sure you recognize where the greatest opportunities are and set your objectives around them. Where is your low hanging fruit? Your marketing strategies should work hand-in-hand to support your business development efforts and take into consideration why your clients care about working with you. What do you offer that your competitors do not and how will you differentiate your services to meet current client and prospective client needs? Think about the following client questions when developing and implementing your marcom plans:
- Will it solve a key client’s challenge or problem?
- Is it going to satisfy a key client’s need?
- Will it allow business development to be more productive?
- Will it allow our professional’s teams to be more efficient?
- Are we doing everything we can to address our clients’ needs before they call us with their problems/concerns?
Studies have shown that buyers, or in this case clients, are more likely to purchase a product or service when they have knowledge of specific benefits and not simply features. Certainly features still hold a strong value proposition particularly when directly tied to your firm’s brand. But when you think about marketing strategies in an economic downturn, your clients are more likely to care about what you did for them recently and what you have to offer and how that may improve their business. Our own experience serving clients for 10+ years has shown us that careful follow-up, open communication to identify potential needs, free teaching materials (like this blog) and consultative marketing methods will produce satisfied clients that are loyal, happy and sustainable.
What are you doing to address your clients’ and potential clients’ needs?
Reposted from the Moiré Marketing Blog found at: http://www.moiremarketing.com/blog