Strategies Used by Companies in the Service Sector
Companies who provide services as opposed to a tangible product have to employ different strategies in their marketing and sales efforts. Service businesses offer an intangible product. In the service sector, past performance is the indicator of future outcomes. A company’s credentials, the expertise of management and employees, and testimonials of clients become the necessary strategies to facilitate a new sale.
Service sector companies must develop a formal protocol for communicating the company’s history, background, and list of services to prospective clients. This is known as a Credentials presentation. The Credentials document can be a paper document that is provided to prospective clients but should also be created as an oral presentation that can be delivered by a company representative. Credentials are often the first bit of company information presented in a new business pitch. Who is the company? What is their mission? What is their service offering? These are basic questions that service sector companies need to address as they approach new business development.
Service sector companies often need to differentiate themselves by establishing themselves as an expert in their particular business. Often service businesses tend to provide a commodity service offered by many similar businesses. To differentiate themselves as unique in their field, they attempt to manufacture a distinction for themselves often by stating they have a particular expertise or a unique approach to meeting challenges and opportunities in their sector.
Whether it’s a hairdresser who claims to be the best colorist in town or a graphic designer who sets himself up as an expert in hand-drawn opposed to computer-aided design, establishing expertise is important marketing strategies employed in the service sector.
Past Work Performance
Having past clients testify as to the quality of the finished work, the level of service provided, the fairest of pricing, can be an important strategy for service sector businesses. Often companies will ask a past client if they can use their name and a favorable quote in marketing materials. Other companies will create a portfolio of past work that speaks for the client in lieu of a personal testimonial.
Creating a portfolio of past work is critical for service sector businesses. Graphic artists keep copies of their past work in a portable binder that they carry with them on sales calls. Hairdressers may keep an album of attractive hairstyles and haircuts for new clients to review. The internet has given every company the opportunity to showcase past work in a professional and attractive presentation that continually acts as a sales and marketing tool for the company.