There's no shortage of advice about which strategies work or don't work for services marketing, yet they seem to conflict with each other regularly. So what's the scoop? Which strategies work?

It's less a question of which ones work than a question of which ones will work for you given the dynamics of what you sell. Answering that question requires many considerations, but there's one that many firms overlook: whether the service they offer is demand-driven or demand-driving.

Determining Which Type of Service You Offer

With a demand-driven service, regardless of what you do for marketing you have to wait for the need to arise before you have a current opportunity to sell something.

Let's say you're a litigation attorney. You can market and sell your heart out, but until someone gets sued or decides to sue... that person is not hiring you or anyone else.

No matter how good a salesperson a structural engineer might be, it's unlikely you will hire that engineer to inspect your house's foundation unless you find a crack.

It's not hard to understand the concept of demand-driven: Until it is actually needed, it is not needed (or wanted, or purchased).

With a demand-driving service, however, you can create opportunities and influence people to purchase your service whether or not it is yet on their radar. In fact, they may not even know the service exists.

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image of Mike Schultz

Mike Schultz is president of RAIN Group, a global sales training and performance improvement company, and director of the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research. He is the bestselling author of Rainmaking Conversations and Insight Selling. He also writes for the RAIN Selling Blog.

LinkedIn: Mike Schultz

Twitter: @mike_schultz