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The Top Ways Clients Buy June 17, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in IT Business, Marketing, SMB Trends.

Do your marketing efforts reflect the way your clients buy? If your not sure, I encourage you to check out this post from the Guerilla Marketing for Consultants blog and the related survey performed by The Economist.

For most clients, finding the right consultant is a three-step process: Identify potential firms, assess the choices, and decide who to hire. An online survey of 220 professional services buyers conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals how clients are using a combination of referrals, online resources, and one-on-one interactions to help decide which provider they want.

The top three ways clients find service providers are: Peer and colleague recommendations (65 percent); existing contacts at professional firms (43 percent); and search engine inquiries (38 percent).

When clients need help, 67 percent of them consider the providers they’ve worked with in the past, but they also conduct research on others who may have the services and skills they need. As clients conduct that research, their opinions on providers are most influenced by one-on-one meetings (74 percent), provider web sites (41 percent), and case studies and white papers (39 percent).

For the majority of buyers, once they’ve narrowed their list to the finalists, the decision comes down to competence and expertise. For professional services providers, the news is good. Clients are actively engaging with online content and using search engines to find appropriate firms.

Keep your practice well-placed in the search rankings to give you the visibility you need to grab the attention of potential clients. But if you do attract them to your site, be sure your content supports your claims to competence or you’ll lose those potential clients before you even have a chance to talk to them. Download the complete report for no charge.

Title: The Top Ways Clients Buy
Author: Mike McLaughlin
Publication Date: 6/15/2009 11:21:46 PM

Feed Title: Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants
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