Cheap can be expensive

Firstly, let me apologise for my lack of Blog activity this week. It has been one of those weeks where, despite my best efforts, time has been in short supply. In addition, when Blogging, I think it essential to post information that is both relevant and helpful. In this case, I wanted to share something about recent experiences with those of us who operate in a service industry.


Cheap?!
In a nutshell, I seem to be coming across a lot of prospects recently who have identified that their marketing activity is not performing and who want to talk to me about what I suggest to improve things. This is itself presents a dilemma. The reason for this is that, my primary offer is that of ‘time.’ As explained on my website, I am not a business offering a single marketing initiative. People like me, who offer an initial service based on time undertaken, generally have umpteen years of hands-on experience and this experience is incredibly valuable and is therefore accessible at a price. But when does this become enforceable? Where does the free advice over a coffee, become a paid for service?

Tough to answer..

Anyway, in order for this business model of ‘pricing a service’ to be successful, any ‘service’ must be easily identified and it is up to us to demonstrate the added value it brings thus making it an attractive proposition. This is what I call practicing what I preach or…………’effective marketing.’

I quite often ask people whether they would go through a divorce and do all the legal work themselves. The answer is unequivocally ‘no’ they would seek the expert advice from a solicitor. If you apply this to marketing, would you (the prospect) do the most important part of running a business – marketing – on your own? For some reason, a great deal of SMEs decide that they will decide what marketing they need and then implement initiatives themselves.

This is where saving money or perceiving to save money, can actually be very expensive. Are you qualified to do your own marketing? Do you know what initiatives are available? Do you fully understand that a brand is not just your logo? Do you actually have a USP?

My suggestion has always been that, if you are a business offering a service, make sure that prospects can see that what you are offering will make a positive difference. SMEs don’t be afraid to talk to a marketing person as he or she should be able to add real value to your marketing and/or give you valuable pointers……..

In my opinion, you can be best friends with a butcher and receive the odd sausage for free, but when it comes to sirloin, you have to pay for it!

What do you think?? Leave me a comment or put me to the test by filling out my form.

4 thoughts on “Cheap can be expensive

  1. Simon M Carlin May 28, 2010 / 10:31 am

    Very interesting and thought provoking. In financial services we have the same issue, where it is the norm to offer an initial consultation without charge. A lot of value is added at that first meeting but rarely is it charged for. Perhaps we should agree to meet for just half an hour on the proviso that if we feel we can work together and add value then we make a charge, and if not the meeting ends straight away without charge. Often we can be too helpful!Regards, SimonTheLostCoin.tel

  2. Very interesting and thought provoking. In financial services we have the same issue, where it is the norm to offer an initial consultation without charge. A lot of value is added at that first meeting but rarely is it charged for. Perhaps we should agree to meet for just half an hour on the proviso that if we feel we can work together and add value then we make a charge, and if not the meeting ends straight away without charge. Often we can be too helpful!Regards, SimonTheLostCoin.tel

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