There is an epidemic growing in the online marketing and business growth services industry.

You can spot it by identifying the hundred and one  ‘cookie cutter’ solutions. A cookie cutter solution is when a service provider focuses on selling you something that has worked for them once before.

Unfortunately this doesn’t mean it will work every time or for your business. They don’t consider single variable factors and use past history as the rule of thumb.

I believe this is one of the reasons the digital marketing industry, in particular, is now likened to the wild west. Full of cowboys, shiny object salesman and why so many customers have a feeling of being played by a smooth snake oil salesman.

Your business deserves to get the right approach for your unique situation and there is one way to ensure that you do.

It is to put any potential service provider through this simple test.

How much time do they spend getting to know your business before offering up potential solutions?

As a minimum to be effective a service provider needs to know:

1. Who your dream clients are.

2. What the greatest wants, needs, desires and frustrations of them are.

3. What marketing your have done previously and what has worked or not worked.

4. What are the marketing norms in your industry (so they can be avoided).

5. What the competition are doing (again so you can avoid making the same mistakes by just copying conventional wisdom).

6. Where the greatest opportunities for revenue and profit growth lie in your business (it’s not just getting new clients which everyone seems to be obsesses with, existing clients are really profitable as well if you market correctly to them).

As an absolute minimum a provider should spend at least one hour asking you a bunch of challenging questions and listening to your answers. If they don’t then the risk of getting ineffective ‘cookie cutter’ approaches is very high. You deserve better but you need to demand it.

If you only do one thing to improve your marketing please make it this.

Make your offer about the results clients get from your business NOT what it is you do or how you do it.

A classic example is SEO. No client really wants SEO they actually want more clients. But beyond that there’s an extra level to dig into. Why do they want more clients? What would that mean for them? If you can get to that then you’ll find making a sale much easier.

Nearly every website I’ve looked at recently has talked about what the company does. Potential clients eyes must glaze over and understandably they spend their money elsewhere OR not at all.

Take time time to scrutinise your website and marketing pieces and ask yourself honestly does it talk about what clients get?

I’m happy to help you if you want a second opinion of your marketing tactics and sales offers. I’ll give you a straight up review of if I believe it’s client results focused or not.