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January 20, 2005

News & Opinion: Standing Out in the Crowd

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 10:32 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales

In side-by-side comparisons, most consultants look pretty much the same. Differentiating yourself from others, even slightly, can mean the difference between feast and famine.
Too often, professional service providers attempt to distinguish themselves in ways that have little or no influence on why clients hire consultants. As a result, clients have come to view professional services as commodities.
In his book, The Marketing Imagination, Theodore Levitt reminds us, There is no such thing as a commodity. All goods and services can be differentiated and usually are. No matter what service you provide, you must convince clients that you have more to offer than the norm or you will just fade into the crowd.
Too many consultants cast a wide marketing net to snare any and all potential clients. In some cases, their marketing pitches reach a level of abstraction that makes it virtually impossible for clients to understand what the consultants actually do.
In a recent blog, Tom Peters urges us to examine-challenge-evaluate your Value-added Proposition. Is it...Compelling? Does it represent...Dramatic Difference?
A clear statement of your firms uniqueness simplifies your marketing challenge by informing prospective clients exactly who you are. It also saves you the time, energy, and expense of educating prospective clients who may not understand--or need--your services.