In my previous two posts on how managed service providers can get higher fees, I talked about the importance of being known and getting confident about your services.

The next strategy for getting higher fees for your services is to specialize.

By specialize, I mean that you should develop particular expertise around a specific industry, technology, or business process that will differentiate you from the majority of your competition.  The far majority of managed services providers’ marketing pitch goes something like this:

“We help small businesses use technology more effectively to achieve their business goals and keep their employees more productive.”

Not bad, and certainly better than some of the options I’ve heard.  However, it either of the following would be much more effective in differentiating your services in the mind of prospects and customers, and therefore allowing you to charge more for your services:

“We specialize in helping doctors use technology to streamline their practice operations and increase patient billings.”

or

“We specialize in helping businesses using CRM tools more effectively to improve customer relationships and dramatically increase revenue.”

As you can see, either of these two positioning statements will be more effective to the right audience.  Now, it’s important to acknowledge that they will also be completely ineffective with other audiences – those that aren’t doctors or who are not looking for CRM services.

This is where most managed services providers start to squirm.  By getting this focused, you by definition cut out a lot of potential client opportunities.  That seems like the wrong move to the small business owner that is desperate to get revenue wherever they can.

However, it’s also one of the most important things you can do to grow your business.

By putting a stake in the ground – one that differentiates you from the tens of thousands of “jack of all trades” in the marketplace – you become recognizable to the market of customers you really desire, they know who you are, what you stand for, and what you are good at.  This makes your marketing stand out from the crowd, and makes it easy to refer you to others.

It also makes it easier for you to charge higher prices.

When prospects and customers see you as a specialist – someone with unique knowledge and skills that they can’t get from a generalist – they naturally assume that they will have to pay more for your services.  Don’t be afraid to take a strong position with your marketing; pick something to specialize in and get your higher fees!

Mike

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