A Service Offer They Can’t Refuse

The trick to the best service offering is to make it broad enough to entice a wide audience, while still being specific enough that people actually understand what you do. The result is an offer that clients cannot refuse. Michael W. McLaughlin writes for Top IT Consultant about how to build this unstoppable offer.

(Without Threats)

McLaughlin says there are three basic client questions whose answers must all be featured in your service offer: “Do you understand the state that creates the need for outside help? Do you have a vision of the future in which the current problem becomes a distant memory? And, what is that path to a brighter future?” If you try to answer these questions in such a way that it sounds like you have utter mastery of every issue the client could ever have, that could actually be problematic. A client will (likely rightly) think you are too good to be true if you claim to be exceptional in too many areas, so focus on the niches where you know you create home runs. Then provide prior examples of those game-winning hits.

More specifically, bring out the testimonials from people who get into grittier detail than, “They did a great job! Would hire again.” Particularly showcase the references that demonstrate you as results-oriented. And about differentiating your service offer from other consultants, McLaughlin writes:

Marketing guru Theodore Levitt reminded us that every service is differentiated, in some way, no matter what the experts proclaim. It's true that what many consultants actually do for clients is similar, but how they do it and express that to clients offer rich sources of differentiation… Clients will recognize the difference, for example, between a service offer to help reduce indirect expenses, and one that reduces indirect expenses and helps them create the internal capability to carry the program forward without the consultant.

Do not make the mistake of going too far into explaining your consulting process before anyone has hired you. Focus on explaining why you are the worth investment by answering the above three questions first. When you have them caught on the hook is the time to start talking process.

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