You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

The No. 1 Marketing Strategy Businesses Need to Be Using Really good marketing begins and ends with your customer.

By Jim Joseph

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Matt Plays
HubSpot co-founder Brian Halligan, right, with co-founder Dharmesh Shah.

Q: What is the number-one marketing strategy when you sell consulting services to a small audience?
Josh Fuhr
Grand Rapids, Mich.

A: Really good marketing begins and ends with your customer. Your customer.

So to answer the question directly, the number-one marketing strategy when you sell consulting services (or any product or service for that matter) to a small audience (or any audience) is to get to know the needs and wants of your customer.

To really know how to sell to your customers, you have to analyze them beyond just what's on the surface. You need to fully understand them on two dimensions: their needs and wants.

Related: To Stand Out From the Competition, You Need to Offer Distinct Emotional Benefits

Their needs

Get to know what your customers truly need from your consulting services. Find out how they go about their work and what you can functionally do to help make it more productive.

Look at your work through the lens of their challenges, not from your point of view. You will then engage them more deeply, because they will know you are on their side to fulfill their needs, not your own. They will know you understand their work, and can help them to do it better.

Don't "sell" them. Instead, understand them to help them.

Related: Use These 8 Lesser-Known Marketing Tools to Help Spread the Word

Their wants

When you just address your customers' needs, you run into a bit of a problem: Your competitors are doing the same thing.

This is why you have to know your customers even better than the others do. You need to go beyond just their needs by understanding their wants as well.

By doing so, you will reach a much more emotional level with them (far beyond what your competition does). Fulfilling their wants will help you to build an emotional connection that far surpasses the functions of their jobs and goes much deeper into a more meaningful relationship with them.

What are your customers really trying to accomplish? Fame? Thought leadership in their industry? A raise so that they can buy a beach house in the Caribbean?

Get to know what motivates them in their lives and help them to achieve that. Trust me, you will sell more services to them than any other consultant -- and you'll build a deep relationship that will go beyond the ups and downs of the annual business cycle.

In fact, you won't have to "sell" at all, which should be your number-one marketing strategy.

Related: The 5 Pillars of a Successful Personal Brand

Jim Joseph

Marketing Master - Author - Blogger - Dad

Jim Joseph is a commentator on the marketing industry. He is Global President of the marketing communications agency BCW, author of The Experience Effect series and an adjunct instructor at New York University.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business Solutions

Learn Python for Software Engineering for Just $20

Learn the world's most popular programming language and apply it for your business's success.


Strong Leaders Use These 4 Strategies to Build Trust in Their Workplace

Building trust is crucial for peak performance, whether your company goes fully remote, hybrid or follows another model. Research backs this up loud and clear.

Data & Recovery

Add Extra 20% Savings to This Complete CompTIA Course Bundle Through April 16

Give your IT career goals a boost with this low-priced package.


The Unseen Reason You Feel So Overwhelmed — and How It Impacts Your Business

Feelings of tiredness and exhaustion are on the rise. Here are a few tips to combat the symptoms within your own business to boost productivity and employee morale.

Cryptocurrency / Blockchain

From Idea to Lucrative Side Hustle — Why Bitcoin ATMs Are the Future of Currency Exchange

Bitcoin ATMs present a lucrative opportunity — the market is projected to grow to $16.85 billion by 2033.


What Damian Lillard Taught Me About Personal Branding

Most entrepreneurs don't realize how valuable their personal brand is. Here's what you can learn from Damian Lillard.