Many professional service firms are guilty of using the exact same language as everyone else in the market to describe themselves. You know, terms like “leading” “innovative” “client focused” “understand your business” and “cost effective”. Many of the services offered by firms in the same industry may not differ greatly. But the manner in which they are delivered can differ and there is a real opportunity for firms which are brave enough to break away from industry catch phrases and stop trying to be all things to all people.
In other sectors such as manufacturing, companies tend to focus on core messages from one of four specializations:
Best at customization
But many professional services describe themselves in a manner which tries to cover all these messages. It usually goes something like “we offer leading expertise and customized solutions to clients in a cost effective and efficient manner.” Well, which is it?
Focusing on a core message may take a lot of internal analysis and competitor research, not to mention discussion and debate amongst your stakeholders. But for prospects trying to decide on the right supplier for their needs, a clear and specific articulation of your value offering will make you stand out. Will it appeal to everyone? Of course not, but it will appeal more to those clients you are ideally meant to serve than the generic messages offered by your competitors.
And make sure you have proof to back up whatever claim you make. For example, if being a leading firm is your core message, what proof do you have to back it up? For some helpful suggestions on backing up your claims, try reading ‘Are you really a ‘leading provider’…or leading me on?’ on Lindsey McCaffrey’s blog.