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July 30, 2007


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Kammy Thurman


Many service professionals wouldn't want to discount their prices because it lowers perceived value. But there are unlimited campaigns one can do to increase business that aren't price-focused. Here are just a few ideas:

Publicity: (1) Send press releases whenever you get a new client. (2) Write up case studies -- success stories -- of your dealings with current clients and send them with press releases. (3) Give some of your time and expertise to a local charity and let your community know about it. Newpapers LOVE this for human interest stories! (4)Send releases relating to your specialty that spin off news stories.

Robert's keep in touch campaigns: (1)Send newsletters or e-zines regularly. (2)Send articles of special interest to your client. (3) Give clients a phone call for no other reason than to say "Thank you for your business." This is powerful! Don't tell them to call you if they could use help with anything, don't try to slip in a new sale. Just say, "I was thinking of you today, and wanted to call to say thanks for your business, and I hope you have a great day! Then shut up, and let things unfold from there. Works wonders!

Writing campaigns: (1) Learn how to write simple articles, such as "How To" and list articles, and submit them to trade magazines your clients read. Seeing your name in print in articles rather than ads carries a HUGE amount of credibility, and you're suddenly catapulted from the status of "vendor" to "guru." (2) Your articles and press releases can be submitted to online companies that blast them all over the Web, which will help SEO for your website immensely, and spread your expertise much wider.

These are just a few ideas. There are any number of promotions a service professional can come up with that lets you increase the value of your work, instead of discounting it.

Have fun thinking them up and spinning them out!



I think there is a way to look at pricing issues with services too. After applying and interviewing many coaches, and marketing experts over the past few months, I began to see a pricing pattern quite clearly, along with all the similarities in discounts, limited offers, etc.. So even with a service business, there is a way to figure out what the "average" prices are like and how a discount is measured against those services. Wouldn't it be better to use this with existing clients? And if you offer a promotional discount on a seminar or workshop, that's a way to sell more of a product as well as a service, no? In retailing, promotions I've done were finicky at best, never knew if it was the photo, the text, a combination, and it was hard to duplicate w/o using the same thing. But now that I know certain ad campaigns were used for 40 years, I wish I'd kept the same campaign that I knew was working. I figured people would tire of it? Is it wise to mail customers the same campaign with slight variations? Or is that a success only when the customer is a new one?

Robert Middleton

Hi Jon,

As I said this week, promotions are more appropriate for products, not services. But the parallel for services are campaigns. The point is not the discount but the organized plan to get your product or service in front of your audience.

Robert M.

Jon Hall

I disagree with Robert here I'm afraid (gosh that's brave of me whom am I to question this marketing guru?) Promotions in my experience rarely work with professional services.The reason being is that clients can't make a comparison between normal pricing and a promotional price. If I am buying a sofa and its discounted by 25% I can see the value, but with a service I haven't experience yet, I can't tell if the normal price is value for money. I may think its only worth the promotional price. How do you over come that? In addition, does having a promotion smack of desperation? If business is doing well why discount? I think you can only be left with the thought that something isn't shifting whether that's units or sofas or hours with clients, so let's have a promotion. What do you think ?

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