To answer this question let’s first take a look at the difference between promoting products VS services.
Products often have cool features that show results quickly. Talk about the benefits of a feature and how it’ll make your customer’s life easier and you’ll probably get a sale.
Services on the other hand, are intangible. There are no buttons to push or “before and after” pictures to see. Services often get categorized as “luxury items” we can usually survive without. They are more challenging to sell because the “results” of a service can be difficult to quantify measure or prove.
Many “hard sell” sales trainers shy away from working with service providers. It is easier to train someone to sell products with features you can see and results you can prove.
After four years in the corporate world selling products (Electronic telephone systems), I transferred into yellow pages advertising. Many of the “sales” techniques we used to sell telephones wouldn’t work at all in advertising! I quickly found out that I needed new sales techniques to promote the intangible results of advertising.
Authors, Coaches, Consultants, etc. produce results that improve the human side of life and business and “Alternative Healers” deal with subtle energies that may take longer to produce quantifiable results. To the average consumer, these are luxuries that, although desirable and beneficial, can be “done without” if money is tight.
Most of my clients haven’t got a clue how to tell people about the benefits and results of their good services. They feel frustrated and wonder why clients are so hard to get. Many are good at explaining how they work and what tools they use. The problem is that most consumers couldn’t care less about how you work. We care more about the benefits we’ll experience after hiring you. We want to be clear on what results you can deliver in exchange for our hard-earned money.
“What’s in it for me?” your customers are asking. It is time to stop feature-dumping! Features only imply that a “process” is beneficial, or a “technique” is going to help…. As service providers we must be able to describe clear results to potential clients.
One client arrived in despair. She had a great service as a professional organizer and sadly, few customers to show for it.
I asked her to give me the top 10 benefits of her good service…alas she (like many others responding to this request) provided a list of top 10 features instead.
She listed “features” that describe how she gets to a result. Features like:
– Customized quotes
– Office flow organization tweaking
– Created new filing systems
– Ergonomic layouts for offices, etc.
Sound pretty good, don’t’ they? Sure, and her customers seemed interested and keen, BUT they were not following through and hiring her.
I helped her articulate a more effective sales list of the benefits and results of her good work. Results like:
– Added value of charging only her client’s specific needs
– Improved and streamlined office procedures
– To save time and decrease frustrations
– Ability to provide better customer service
– Increased efficiency with improved filing structure
– Less time wasted due to poor office layout
– Resulting in increased productivity all around.
We created a list of 6 good questions she can ask to uncover if a client needs organizational help. Why waste time telling clients all about our services if they don’t need them?
Now, my client will always ask questions to find out first if someone seriously needs her service. If they do, she tells them with confidence about the results she can provide and is more secure asking for their business. By following these guidelines you too can get hired faster with more confidence practically every time!
“Anna Kanary’s Sales class was exactly what I needed! As someone with very little sales background and who struggles to close the deal with potential clients, this class gave me the format, confidence, clarity and momentum I needed to get out there and get more clients! Anna’s expertise combined with her warmth makes this class not only exceptional but necessary…you will get more than you ever expected!”