When you’re thinking about hiring a marketing consultant who wants to help you profit from his method of marketing, ask yourself whether the marketing method is…
1. Effective. What proof do you have that the method works? Is it similar to other things you’ve tried that have not worked? What will make it work this time if it hasn’t worked before?
2. Dignified. Is the method built on principles of education so you attract clients with dignity? Or is it built on selling principles that undermine your credibility by forcing you into the role of a salesperson?
3. Innovative. Will you gain a competitive advantage by using this method? Or are your competitors already using it? And even if your competitors are using it, does that mean it won’t be successful for you?
4. Efficient. Is the method so all-encompassing that it wastes money by attracting calls from people who are not in your target audience? Does the method depend on the development of expensive color brochures, which are often not cost-effective parts of your marketing program?
5. Systematic. Is this method carried out in a straightforward, step-by-step manner? Or is the method scattered — sort of hit and miss, without focus?
6. Prestigious. Does the method build your image as an authority so prospects appreciate your knowledge, skill, judgment and experience? Or does it cast you in the role of a salesperson promoting your services?
7. Desirable. Is the consultant’s method what you really want? Or is he trying to persuade you to accept something you don’t want, leaving you unsure or unsettled?
8. Interactive. Does the method take specific steps to get prospective clients to interact with you, such as generating telephone calls, personal contact, mail inquiries, and other forms of interaction?
9. Attractive. Are prospective clients attracted to the method because it gives them what they want, information and advice? Or are they repelled by it because they see it as just another sales pitch?
10. Time-saving. Does the method allow you to deliver your marketing message to many prospects at one time? Or do you still have to meet with one prospect after another, forcing you to deliver your marketing message time and time again?
11. Credible. Does the method build or enhance your credibility as a competent provider of your services? Or does it undermine your credibility by requiring that you do things you’re not comfortable doing?
12. Comprehensive. Does the overall strategy profit from the synergy of several methods reinforcing each other? Or is the strategy simply to use one method, such as seminars or newsletters, which loses the benefit of many methods working together?
13. Powerful. Does the method attract calls from prospective clients during the first stage of the decision-making process, before they call your competitors? Or do you receive calls only by chance — such as in the Yellow Pages — where you may be just one of many people they contact?
14. Productive. Does the method identify future prospects who have a growing interest in your services and want to continue to receive your materials?
15. Persuasive. Does the method provide genuine help to your prospect and maintain his loyalty even if he decides not to become your client?
16. Accountable. Does the method generate responses so you can track the number of prospects who inquire and track the number who go on to become clients? Or is the method more institutional and image-building, which really doesn’t work in today’s competitive environment?
17. Profitable. Does the method bring in enough new business to show you a clear profit? Or does it simply pay for itself?
18. Selective. Does the method attract qualified prospects who are ready to buy — and screen out people who are not your prospects? Or does it simply attract lots of people, forcing you to take the time and energy to screen out who is serious and who is window shopping?
19. Educational. Does the method help educate your prospects so they understand their problems and the solutions you can provide? Or does the method simply find prospects and then rely on you to provide information?