Push Marketing Works: It Pushes Clients Away

The vast majority of marketing messaging for business and IT service providers is projective, based almost entirely on self-description and promotion. As a consequence, marketing and advertising messages seem strained. Here is an example of one such message:

Our client-focused, industry-specialized, dedicated staff of experienced consultants provides rapid solutions and immediate ROI with services that extend to all your needs.

Although the vendor has touched on all the client bases, this offer is chloroform in print. Here are words and phrases from the marketer’s message whose power has eroded due to excessive over-deployment and lack of credibility.


Word/Phrase Marketers’ Intention
Client focused We are active listeners and will work with you to provide results
Industry specialized We understand your business
Dedicated staff We work hard
Experienced We know what we are talking about
Rapid Our experience and methods are straight to the point
Solutions Services beyond software
Return on investment (ROI) Our services pay for themselves


It is comparable to a man seeking to impress a woman by talking about his job, car, apartment and high salary instead of asking her about herself. Listening.

At a business and IT event some years ago in San Francisco, the keynote speaker asked an audience of over 800 people: “Raise your hand if you work for an enterprise applications vendor firm”. More than 200 people did so. They were then instructed to sit back and listen to ‘the collective client voice’ from the rest of the delegates in the room. Here is what followed.

Raise your hand if…

…A sales proposition of end-to-end services is attractive to you? No hands were raised.

…Lowest cost or rapid completion is of major importance to your firm? A smattering of hands went up.

…Past experience in your industry is a major factor in your buying decision. No hands were raised.

…Your prospective provider does none of the above and instead listens carefully to your expression of your aims and needs? All hands went up.

…Your prospective provider can credibly demonstrate, with numbers, the value their services will bring to your firm? All hands went up.


Keynote speaker: “So. Listening skills and demonstrable numbers-based value? Who knew?”