A key marketing question: Would you buy your own services?

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contrator compass
The Contractor Compass provides some really useful insights, especially for subcontractors.
contrator compass
The Contractor Compass provides some really useful insights, especially for subcontractors.

Gregg  Schoppman provides some refreshing insights and reminders in his article: Strategic Marketing That Works: Would You Buy Your Own Services, in the February issue of The Contractor’s Compass, the American Subcontractors Association (ASA)’s online magazine.

He starts off by reminding us that the tripe many contractors pass for “marketing is just that — crap.

However, with little or no constraints on emailing, Tweeting, and Facebook and LinkedIn posting, buyers navigate through a sea of “people that will save them money, time, and of course be safe”. It is almost as if buyers would relish getting an actual brochure in the mail to break the monotony of email sludge they get on a daily basis.

So how do you break out of the clichés?

Schoppman suggests starting with targeted audiences and themed messages — focused, specific, testimonial-based insights that really demonstrate your competence and relevance.

He also suggests that you consider was to provide client organizations training services, including the overall client business estimating staff.

For instance, as a mechanical contractor it might be beneficial to provide training on the latest HVAC systems, the “dos and don’ts of mechanical construction, the intricacies of clean environments, etc. Granted, there is always a certain”spin” to this free training, but consider the benefits of having a captive audience, all while being the smartest technical people in the room?  Ultimately, this establishes and reinforces the firm’s ability to ‘be the expert’ and more importantly develop deeper relationships. With a dose of interactive learning, the keen marketing professional can establish a training that allows a potential customer to share their deep reservations, concerns and hot buttons.  even the most intimate sales meeting may never allow for this level of dialogue.

Schoppman also takes shots at the conventional proposal documentation, advocating for differentiation and creativity rather than the usual laundry list of previous accomplishments and boilerplate material.

I enjoyed the refreshing message to battle the clichés. However, I expect these ideas will mostly resonate with the marketers who don’t need the support. Others will carry on the same old, same old, story.

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