It is often more difficult to sell a service than a product, at least in theory. Because while a product can be touched or tested in advance before buying, a service is not usually experienced until it has been contracted.
Being something more ethereal implies a greater risk for the client, who thinks about it more and faces another problem: many services look the same and are not distinguishable from each other .
It happened to me at the beginning of my career as an Economist, but it also happens with a law firm , with real estate agents, graphic designers and other creative jobs, advisers and consultants of all kinds… You start looking on the Internet and they all seem the same.
The web pages, the services they offer, the aesthetics, the speech, the promises, the price… everything is so similar that it is almost impossible to choose.
The client has to perform a whole guessing task to decide which one is the best for him. In these cases, there are 3 fundamental keys that will allow us to stand out from that sea of competitors and better sell our service.
1. Differentiation through specialization
The first task for customers to choose us is that they can distinguish us from the rest. As we have seen before, the entire business strategy can be summed up in a single word: differentiation .
The best way to differentiate ourselves is by becoming a specialist in a particular field , because people always prefer a specialist to solve important problems.
Thus, instead of advertising ourselves as a lawyer, it is better to do it as: « labor lawyer expert in dismissals», or instead of being a graphic designer, position ourselves as: «expert 3D graphic designer for the real estate sector».
Thus, we achieve two things:
- When they find us, those who have that specific problem will consider us a better option than the whole amalgam of lawyers or generalist designers.
- When it comes to promoting ourselves, we can go to those specific clients with a speech focused on their specific problem, instead of with a general speech that tries to cover everyone, but does not end up exactly fitting with anyone.
The two keys for this to work are:
- We have to specialize in a segment that has enough potential customers . In other words, we cannot choose a specialization in something where there are only four clients and it is not profitable,
- We have to specialize in a segment that has a certain purchasing power . For example, if I am that expert 3D designer, the real estate sector usually has more budget than small entrepreneurs who start and are always short of money.
We must stand out in some way, because to be the expert in everything is to be the expert in nothing.
2. The speed of response
My experience when I was a traditional business economist is that I closed almost every sale I was quick to respond to .
And many times he did not get it because he was the best or the most specialized, but because he was the first to answer them (and with a response like the one we will see in the next key point).
Today, speed is more critical than ever, because the customer is more impatient than ever .
We have become accustomed to having everything instantly. The answer we searched for on Google, all the episodes of our series at a click, all the music at the moment we want it…
This mentality has been transferred to everything and, when our potential client writes to us or asks us something, we have to be aware that they are not only talking to us, but that they will have asked others as well.
The speed of response and action also communicates to the customer that we are effective and that, surely, if we have given that quick response now, we will give the same kind of response every time they have a problem.
Of course, it cannot be any answer and that is where the third key comes in.
3. Position ourselves as a problem solver
When I won those sales from the previous point, I didn’t do it by just sending a price list or a reply listing my qualities with things like: “quality at a good price.”
What it did was provide you with an answer principle to your query, that is, it provided you with results in advance, showing that it was capable of solving your problem .
Throughout all these years I have often been asked how to sell better, how to close more contracts, how to make a more persuasive sales pitch… The best way is to show that you know the problem and say the solution. If you show that, it doesn’t matter if your speech doesn’t have perfect rhetoric or you don’t have a captivating charisma.
It is something as simple as giving a client what they want, but many times we forget the fundamentals.
When we have a service, we look for people who have a problem or need that they don’t know or don’t want to solve on their own. You are looking for someone who is knowledgeable, knows how to fix the issue, and can do it fast.
Those 3 things sum up what the customer wants from a service and we must focus on those 3 things to sell it more and better.
With many companies in these sectors still looking the same, taking days to respond to a query and trying to sell, rather than solve problems, there is still plenty of room for opportunity.
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