Do you want to learn how to sell services? If you do, then you are in the right place.
Selling services is a whole lot different from selling products.
When a customer wants to buy a product, they have tangible things they can look at to decide whether or not they want the said product.
For instance, if you want to buy a washing machine.
You can easily go to the store, check the numerous options available, compare the features and prices of the products, and then decide on the one that will best suit your laundry needs.
Shopping for products is a whole lot easier because products are tangible and they can “speak” for themselves.
Customers can look at the product and know that is what they want.
But the same can’t be said for services because they are intangible.
Quick illustration, let’s say instead of buying a washing machine, you decide to use a laundry service.
Now, you need a provider that will provide this service for you.
So, you contact about five providers.
And each of these providers tells you the same thing, they are the best at what they do.
With this, how do you decide on a particular provider?
How can you tell which one is actually the best?
This is what makes selling services an entirely different ball game.
Luckily, this article will share tips that will make selling services easier for you.
These tips will help you stay ahead of your competition and make customers more likely to pick your business out of the many other businesses providing the same services.
With that being said, here are 4 steps on how to sell services.
1. Establish Your Brand Identity/Differentiate Your Business
A strong brand identity is a very important aspect you need to get right to successfully sell your services.
A thousand and one businesses offer the same services as you do.
So, why should people patronize your business instead?
What makes you different from all the other businesses that provide the same service?
This is what your brand identity is all about.
Having a strong brand identity will separate you from the crowd and give you a better chance of beating your competitors.
If you do not already have a strong brand identity, then it’s about time you start building one.
All you need to do is follow these tips.
Study Your Competition
You can better understand your stand in your market by studying your competition.
And you can do this by carrying out a competitive analysis.
This is simply checking out the competition and comparing them to yours.
You don’t even need to use too many resources to do a competitive analysis.
You can start with a spreadsheet; list out your competitors and start comparing important aspects of these businesses with yours.
Look at the capabilities of the businesses; their strength and their weaknesses.
Consider the competitive edge they have over your business.
How do they relate with their customers?
How do they advertise their services?
When you know all these things about your competition, you can use them to stay ahead of them.
You can also learn more about your competitors by interacting with them.
This can be done by attending industry events or joining online forums.
Interacting with your competitors can also be the perfect opportunity to learn from them; especially if your competitor has been in the business longer than you have.
It can also be a great way to develop professional relationships that will open up opportunities for you somewhere down the road.
Find a Market Niche
A market niche is a fancy way of saying a specific area in the market.
Having a particular niche will set you apart from the other businesses in the same market as you.
After you are done analyzing your competitions, you most likely will have a clear understanding of what every business is into.
You will also be able to identify the gap in the market.
If you identify this gap, then you should consider whether you can fill it up.
Filling up the gap will make your business irreplaceable because at the time you’d likely be the only one offering the service.
So, when customers need that particular service, they will automatically come to you.
And even when other businesses start joining that niche, you will still stay on top of the game.
Frame Your Service as A Product – How to Sell Services
Your business may not be offering a tangible product to its customers.
This, however, does not mean the services you are offering are not as important as tangible products.
You know your services are valuable, but do your customers know this too?
If they do not, then you need to help them see the value in your services.
And one of the best ways to do this is to reframe your service to feel like a physical object.
Brand your services to look and feel tangible.
This will give you a better chance of connecting with both your current and potential clients.
Understand Your Customers – How to Sell Services
Knowing and understanding your customers is another important factor that will help you establish a strong brand and successfully sell your services.
You need to know the needs of your customers and how your services can cater to these needs.
This way, you can shape your business to provide your customers with the best services.
When studying your customers, you need to consider two important data; demographics and psychographics.
Their demographics are their socioeconomic characteristics such as gender, age, job roles, ethnicity, and so on.
Whereas psychographics refers to the psychological characteristics of your customers.
This typically includes their beliefs, religion, interests, opinions, and so on.
Knowing these things are very important because it is the best way for you to understand what they consider most important.
Remember, what you are selling is not tangible.
And the only way you can make it look tangible and valuable to your customers is by ensuring it meets their specific needs.
By studying your customer’s important data, you can discover their important needs and shape your services to cater specifically to these needs.
Always Help – How to Sell Services
Sales representatives don’t exactly have a great reputation.
Customers typically do not trust salespeople because they feel they are just trying to make a sale and will say anything to get it.
You are trying to sell an idea that customers can’t even feel or touch.
Yes, the odds might seem pretty much against you.
Luckily, there is something you can do to turn the odds in your favor.
You need to adopt an always-helping mentality while trying to sell your service.
This will make your customers see you as a trusted advisor rather than just a salesperson.
So, how can you always help out?
First, when attending to a customer, your first intuition should not be closing the sales by all means necessary.
Rather, you should first determine whether or not you can help the potential customer.
If you can, then how will you do so?
Find out the customer’s problems/needs, understand their challenge, and see how you can fix it for them.
When reaching out to potential clients via calls and/or emails, ensure your message has value.
If you say you will do something, ensure you do it, and at the right time too.
Make transparency a habit; do not hide anything during any transaction.
Generally, just ensure you are helping first and not trying to close a deal in any interaction you have with your customers or potential customers.
Create an Official Website
Having a strong online presence is very important for any business in today’s world.
So, if you do not already have an official website for your business, then you need to create one as soon as possible.
Your website should detail every important thing about your business.
This way, anybody that visits it can have a clear understanding of what your business is all about.
Therefore, you should typically have a list of the services your business offers on the website.
Your company’s mission is another important thing to have on your official website.
Other things to include are your pricing and your contact info so that potential customers can easily contact you.
Most people will often go to the website of a business to learn as much as they can about a business before patronizing it.
So, you have to ensure your website does a good job impressing anyone that visits it.
Potential customers will appreciate this more as they will see you as being helpful rather than just being a salesperson (remember the fifth tip)
Another thing to pay attention to is the design of the website.
It should be cool enough to impress people.
But it should also be user-friendly so that people won’t have a hard time navigating it.
2. Effectively Market Your Services
Do the following to effectively market your services to potential customers.
Ensure Your Prices are Fair
If you are just starting your business, then you need to come up with a reasonable price for your services.
Now, you need to ensure that your prices are fair to both you and your potential customers.
You should not undersell what you have to offer just because you are new on the playing field.
Sure, this may attract customers to you, but you may just be doing your business more harm than good because you may end up running at a loss.
So, determine a price for your services.
And ensure that the price you decide on matches the hourly labor and running cost of the services you offer.
You should also ensure you stand on this price.
Some customers will try to beat down the price; this is where you let them understand the value of your service.
If you want insight on a fair price for your services, then consider checking out that of your competitors.
This will give you an idea of what your prices should look like.
Have a Unique Selling Proposition
A unique selling proposition (USP) typically describes the services your business offers.
Think of USP as your business selling point.
A good USP lets potential customers know what exactly they will get before they commit to your business.
A USP is meant to attract people to your business.
You also have to create a USP that your target market will find appealing.
Once you have a memorable USP, ensure to put it on every marketing material.
Typically, this should include your business cards, pamphlets, e-fliers, fliers, and so on.
Visit here to learn more about USP.
Consider the Emotions of Potential Customers – How to Sell Services
When marketing, your potential customers’ emotions should be one of the things that should influence your marketing strategy.
You should think of the kind of mindset your potential customers will have when trying to choose a service provider.
Most of the time, customers value convenience and efficacy when considering service-based businesses.
Customers often opt for service providers to do certain jobs for them because they do not have the skills to do the job or because they just do not want to go through the stress of doing the job themselves.
So, you need to consider this while coming up with your marketing strategy.
You should market your service as convenient, efficient, and cost-effective.
Put these values on all your marketing materials.
This way, potential customers will get a clear message of what they stand to benefit from doing business with you.
Develop Social Proof – How to Sell Services
Robert Cialdini coined the term “social proof” from the theory that people often look at what other people consider correct to determine the correctness of a thing.
And you cannot ignore the importance of social proof in business.
When the majority of people think your business is the best thing yet, potential customers will automatically believe this claim.
There are different forms of social proof for businesses.
These include case studies, online reviews, references, testimonials, and so on.
When it comes to service-based businesses, social proof is even more important.
Because potential customers do not see a tangible product that they can use to decide whether or not to patronize the business.
But social proof can give the customers a feel of what the business will provide for them.
Social proof can create the same result that tangible products produce.
So, take your time to develop a great social proof for your service-based business.
Put up customer reviews and testimonials on your website.
Have references; not every customer wants to be a reference for a business, so, you may have a hard time compiling a list of references.
However, you should get at least one or two references.
When you do, try not to use them all the time as they may get tired of it.
Only use your references as your last resort when trying to close a deal.
Also, learn to appreciate your reference whenever they speak to a potential customer.
Something as simple as a gift card or gift basket can go a long way in making your reference feel valued and keeping them in your corner.
3. Provide Great Customer Service
Customer service is yet another important factor to harness when selling services.
You should be able to interact with your customers and potential customers on a personal level.
Rather than addressing your clients as businesses, address them as people.
Let your conversation with them be professional yet friendly.
Treat them with respect and kindness, and always maintain a cordial tone when interacting with them.
If a potential customer chooses not to do business with you after everything, do not hold it against them.
Respect their choice and ensure the interaction ends cordially.
Also, ensure your sales team is as interested in your business and customers the same way you are.
Do not lose touch with a customer once you are done working with them.
You need to maintain contact with your past customers.
Call them, send them emails, and remind them of your services.
But you do not want to be too invasive with this.
Finally, if you have a return customer, consider giving them special perks.
Give them a discount for patronizing your business again.
Send a gratitude email to them.
Treating your customers like this will make them feel valued.
And who knows, they may even promote your business to friends, family, and colleagues just because of how well you treat them.
4. Expand Your Customer Base – How to Sell Services
You need to grow your business beyond what it currently is by reaching out to new people and expanding your customer base.
There are so many ways to go about this.
Firstly, you can start by asking your current customers to refer you to people.
If you did a good job for them and made sure they had a satisfying experience working with your business, you may not even need to ask them for referrals.
They will gladly recommend anyone looking for the services you offer to your business.
You can also make your customers more likely to promote your business by doing a referral program.
Secondly, you can increase your customer base by contributing to your community and getting exposure from this.
If your community is holding any special festivals or events, consider using the opportunity to garner more exposure for your business.
Contribute to the event, have a stand, and just participate in the event any way you can.
You can also expand your customer base by partnering with a substitute competitor.
This is another business that does not offer the same services as your business, but they attend to the same clientele as you.
So, you and this business can partner and help each other grow by sending business to each other ways.
Conclusion on How to Sell Services
Selling services is harder than selling tangible products.
However, this does not mean you can’t be successful at it.
As a service-based business, you need to be able to sell your service as a tangible product.
You should be able to make your potential customers see value in the services you offer the same way they’d see value in tangible products.
This article has discussed some tips that can help you do this.
Now, all you have to do is follow the tips to increase your sales.