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Q. Are there any differences in marketing strategies between selling products vs. services? Thanks.
 

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A. Marketing expert, Joe Gracia, responds:

Great question. Seems like a lot of people feel that there must be a lot of difference between marketing a product versus a service. In reality, there is very little difference.

WHAT DO PEOPLE BUY?

People don't really buy products and services. They buy what the products or services can do for them. People don't buy quarter inch drills, they buy quarter inch holes.

People buy solutions to their problems. Therefore, all products and services must be the solution to a problem. The problem can be a relatively easy one to solve, like the problem of being hungry and going to a restaurant for the solution. Or it can be a major problem, like the problem of having a serious illness and going to a specialist for the solution.

WHAT IS MARKETING

Here's our definition of marketing:

'Marketing is helping people get what they want.'

Whether you are selling products or services you should always use a simple two-step marketing strategy:

Step 1: Attract people who are seeking the solution your product or service provides, in a way that allows you to get their contact information. These are your Prospects.

Step 2: Follow up consistently with your list of prospects at least 8 times by providing them with information that will be helpful to them, and information about how your product or service will help them solve their particular problem.

The first step helps you attract as many opportunities as possible, and the second step helps you to convert a certain percentage of those opportunities into customers.

SERVICES MAY REQUIRE MORE PERSONAL CONTACT

About the only difference you may find between marketing products and services, is that services may require more personal contact between you and your potential buyers. This personal contact may be in the form of a face to face presentation, or a telephone presentation.

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