Marketing Strategy - Shift the Focus

Most of the service providers I've worked for or with don't like marketing or selling. In fact, a lot of them will say they "hate it." At the very least, they'll tell me they don't think they are very good at it.

If you ask them why it is they feel this way, you're most likely to get some common responses such as:

"When do I have the time? I'm busy enough as it is."

"I don't know where to start."

"I don't know what to do."

"I've tried networking, but I don't ever get anything."

"I just don't have the gift of gab."

"I'm a _________, not a marketing or sales person."

When you ask those same professionals what it is that they like to do, you're likely to get something such as they love to solve problems or help their clients do something that they can't really do for themselves. They enjoy being able to provide valuable information to those who need it the most, their ideal clients.

What they don't understand is that positioning themselves as problem solvers is also a better approach to marketing.

Shift your focus from 'having to market and sell yourself and your services' to 'being a provider of information and a solver of problems for your ideal clients.' You'll not only enjoy the journey more, you'll actually become a better and more successful "marketer/seller." That's right! Don't focus on trying to convince, persuade, or sell. Take the pressure off yourself. Provide information to help solve problems and provide solutions and you'll build more business.

People (including businesses) hire or buy services because they have a problem, pain, issue, or some other business or personal need that they don't have the time, the skills, or the inclination to address for themselves.

People and businesses realize they can't, and frankly don't want to do it all. Of course, you knew that. But why aren't they buying those services from you?

You see when you're marketing and selling, you tend to focus on trying to persuade and sell. You talk a lot about and share materials that are focused on who you ARE, what you HAVE, what you can DO, or what you KNOW. We most often market the features and services we want them to buy from us. I'm sure you've been there ? trying to convince we have the capabilities, persuade that we're the best option, and sell the features and benefits of our service(s). What doesn't get explained is what they GET from working with you.

Many business owners believe it's a numbers game. We're led to believe that if we tell enough people, eventually someone will recognize the value and say, "Hey, that's just what I've been looking for." But this leads to a lot of rejection. No wonder you don't enjoy marketing yourself.

Shift your focus. Clearly articulate the problem or problems that you want to help your ideal clients solve when communicating with prospects and referral sources and they will begin to listen. Then, if you can demonstrate credibly that you can provide a solution to that problem, they'll want to know more. You're going to enjoy the process a whole lot more and you'll be amazed at how much more successful you'll be!

(c) - Kevin Dervin, KPD Marketing

About the Author:

Kevin Dervin is focused on helping small businesses that are ready to grow, but struggle with how to consistently attract more clients. Visit">http://www.p for more great marketing information you can put to use in growing your business today.

Find Kevin's Kansas City based KPD Marketing practice at and subscribe to his free ezine called ABCD Grow.

How to Manage Your Marketing Mix

Here's the deal: advertisement is not marketing. It's like saying you want to have... Read More

Attracting New Business on a Shoestring Budget

In a recent marketing workshop I attended, I discovered that most business owners rely... Read More

Business Cards that Make Them CALL

How would you use business cards for gift certificates?I asked at the beginning of this... Read More

Medias Dirty Little Secret

I'm constantly amazed by all of the media reps from all of the different media... Read More

Demographics For the Masses

Information is the lifeblood of the economy. That's especially true for businesses, because the ability... Read More

11 Ways to Turnaround a Cash-Strapped Business or Practice

This past weekend I received a disturbing message from a dear friend. His business wasn't... Read More

Motivating Your Target

There's just no time to waste in a cyber day; competition for your target's attention... Read More

Eight Advantages of Fundraising Letters Over Other Methods

1. Personal Fundraising letters are about as personal as you can get with a donor... Read More

Receiving a Brochure Printing Quote

Brochures are a great way to get your message across. While having a brochure can... Read More

Marketing Tips - Ten Quick Marketing Actions

It is often difficult to manage to do marketing tasks when you have a... Read More

The 5 Musts of Marketing

For most of the small business owners I work with, marketing has become the... Read More

Know Thy Competition

BREAK FROM HO-HUM MARKETING ? IT'S TOO BORING! Once you break from ho-hum marketing,... Read More

Do You Make These 5 Common Marketing Mistakes?

The famous P.T Barnum once said, "Without promotion, something terrible happens, NOTHING!" And marketing... Read More

Eleven Reasons Donors Stop Responding To Fundraising Letter Appeals

Donors will stop responding to your fundraising letter appeals for many reasons. Some of which... Read More

New Years Revolution

No, that's not a typo in the title. Resolutions are easy; most of us make... Read More

Have Something Good To Say

If you don't get this right, you can just forget about everything else...your advertising will... Read More

You?re In Charge. Now What?

For years now, you have been waiting patiently for that first opportunity to be put... Read More

How to Protect Yourself Against the Hidden Cost of Shipping to Trade Shows

Trade Shows are lots of work, but they can generate lots of new business for... Read More

Guerrilla Marketing in Action

Guerrilla Marketing is using time, energy and imagination to market a product, business or person... Read More

Using Direct Mail

The advantages of using direct mail to promote your home-based or small business are: ... Read More

How to Win a Price War

Any economics student can tell you that price is a matter of supply and demand.... Read More

Ten Reasons Why Most Yellow Page Ads Fail -And Yours Does Not Have to

Grant Directory users are ready to buy Yellow Pages have a major advantage over all... Read More

The Six-Step Process That Grows Your Business

1. Examine your clientele and define your ideal client. Of all the customers you've served... Read More

How to Brief a Marketing Agency

A new client recently emailed us a brief here at Mano Design. It was very... Read More

Distinguish Your Business From The Competition

You followed time-honored online marketing techniques to the letter: you have a great web... Read More

Increase Your Sales By Following-Up

The difference between a successful business and one that just gets by is that the... Read More

Is It Time To Revisit Your Marketing Strategy?

Small & Mid Sized Business owners, have you revisited your marketing strategy lately? Your... Read More

What Can Star Wars Teach You About Creating a Buzz for Your Business?

Many people think marketing is some type of mystery that only a few select... Read More

FREE Means MORE Business

Why give freebies?We have all seen freebies at trade shows and we have all probably... Read More

Customizing Booklets By Industry or By Company

Customizing booklets can be done by industry or by company."110 Ideas for Organizing Your Travel... Read More

Your Company Need More Marketing? Or Just Better Marketing?

Many sales problems can be solved by improved marketing. Selling harder is often not... Read More

Why Instant Gratification Marketing Condemns Businesses To Losing 90% Of Their Potential Customers

Most businesses target only people "ready-to-buy". These hot prospects are "Now Buyers" because they've been... Read More

Marketing Ideas Without Action Will Get You Nowhere!

Marketing Ideas Without Action Get You NowhereYou want to grow your small business, but how... Read More

If You Can?t Answer This Question Your Business is Doomed!

How do you answer the seemingly easy question, "What do you do?" Do you talk... Read More

Postcard Marketing Done Right

Say it with a post card. A well designed, colorful, high impact postcard in the... Read More

Nine Must-Do Positioning Steps

Every professional or consultant knows that clients typically hire people they know, like and trust.... Read More

Top Five 2004 Required Marketing Tips Needed to Succeed

When marketing your practice, as well as designing yourbrochure, web site, business card, flier,... Read More

What Our CAT Taught Me About Marketing!

Toby is one of our two family pets (both cats). He is quite astute, and... Read More

Helping Your Prospects Overcome ?Buying Fears? By Using Testimonials

You DO use direct marketing for your small business? right? If so, you're taking... Read More

Client Attraction Technique #1: Niche Marketing

When asked "what business are you in" many business owners often identify an industry, for... Read More

Five Joint Venture Marketing Skills A Small Business Owner Must Have

Joint venture marketing is a lucrative way of leveraging the assets of two or... Read More

Marketing Brain Trust

Rest assured that no matter how smart you are, you do not know everything about... Read More

The 4 P s of Marketing: Effective Marketing Programs Depend On Them

There is no shortage of marketing programs, many with great profit potential. The challenge... Read More

There Are Benefits... And Then There Are Benefits

Not all benefits are created equal. Knowing which ones to use when can make a... Read More

Marketing On The Cheap: Become a Joiner

Recently I wrote an article on the benefits of joining your local Chamber of Commerce... Read More

The Most Powerful Marketing Strategy Available To Small Businesses

Most small business owners want to generate huge profits, with little effort and in the... Read More

Why Referral Business Is So Valuable

With so much money invested on innefective advertising, it's time to look at some good... Read More

Marketing Strategies: What Choices Do You Have?

Most business people want to see improvements in sales and profits. But how do you... Read More

What You MUST Understand About Your Web Numbers

Two years ago, when I first started selling online, I focused on doing what I... Read More

Using Business Cards as Invitations

Business card size works well for invitations to special events.What do you visualize when you... Read More