Monday, October 8, 2012

“Full Service”, Really?

How many times have you been at a networking event and heard someone describe their business or practice as “full service?” Maybe you've done it yourself. In the 30-second introductions it sounds like this, “Hi my name is Joe Schmo, I am from Vandelay Industries, and we’re a full service accounting (staffing, law, marketing, architecture etc...) firm.”

There are two significant problems with describing your business as full service:

  • It’s not true - It’s not credible or believable. No business is full service. There are customers, markets and products/services that every business serves better than others. Likewise there are services and products that every company does not provide within its industry.
  • It’s nondescript - The term full service is also vague. At a networking event recently, I heard 5 staffing firm representatives from different companies describe their businesses as full service. As a listener to these introductions I learned nothing of value about the companies. They apparently aren't experts at anything. A specialist would never describe themselves as full service.

Success in networking comes from differentiating yourself. Your sphere of influence expands in direct relation to the communities sense of your expertise.

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