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How Buyers Evaluate Professional Services Providers

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Service providers' websites are the most commonly used resource for buyer evaluations, according to a recent report from Hinge.

Asked how they "check out" potential professional services providers (such as an accounting, marketing, legal, consulting, or tech firm), 81% of buyers say they head to the seller's website.

The next most common strategy is online search, with 63% of buyers saying they google the service provider.

Recommendations and opinions also play an important role: 62% of buyers ask friends or colleagues whether they've heard of the person/firm, and 56% talk to references provided by the seller.

These various channels are complementary rather than mutually exclusive; buyers use 3.2 methods on average to research a service provider.


Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 1,028 buyers of professional services.

Social Media

  • 60% of buyers say they use social media to research a potential professional service provider.
  • Among social media platforms, LinkedIn is far and away the most commonly used source of information on service providers.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 1,028 buyers of professional services. The services regularly procured by respondents include accounting/finance (54% purchase), marketing/communications (47%), legal (40%), technology (35%), management consulting (33%), and architecture/engineering/construction (20%).


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Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategy and content consultant. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. His experience includes working as a strategist and producer of digital content for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and AOL.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Randy Milanovic Mon Feb 24, 2014 via iphone

    All the more reason to craft your content with your buyer persona in mind. Here at Kayak, we use marketing personas for this exact reason. The more you can picture your perfect client in your mind's eye, and write something that appeals directly to him or her, the easier it's going to be to create a one-on-one marketing effect (which, of course, should be your goal). Especially important to have a consistent message and great reputation online.

  • by J.R. Newell Mon Feb 24, 2014 via web

    This is terrific information and so critical for all service providers to take note of. Thank you so much for sharing!

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