The Trouble with Selling Services?
Posted by Shane Murphy on Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Sticking with issues of selling in the service industry, I link you today to a wonderful piece from RainToday.com that gets into this issue a bit deeper than I did on Monday.
It’s pretty simple to see that one of the biggest problems in solid lead generation — when you don’t have a tangible product to sell — is that of getting the prospect to visualize exactly what it is that you’re selling. From the RainToday piece…
“How do you make the intangible tangible? Take a cue from your local ice cream shop… let your clients and prospects have a taste. Professional services businesses can do this by creating and leveraging offers and experiences that allow potential buyers to see, touch, and taste a bit of what you will provide for them as a client.”
For my business, that means getting out there everyday and doing the things that most people aren’t willing to do. For example, I have spent a ridiculous amount of time over the past month in building relationships with establishments, then working out trade agreements with them for me to do some work in exchange for the ability to use their offices to hold free seminars.
Of course, that means that I’ve also spent a good deal of time in actually developing those seminars. Not to mention the time taken to deliver them. What has it netted me so far? Little in the way of revenue, but it has made me recognizable in my area and gotten me a solid prospects list.
And it’s made my services more tangible to those prospects.
Another exercise that I’ve been actively pursuing is pitching a weekly column to some newspapers (tip of the hat to Jeffrey Gitomer on that idea). My pitch is simple: I’ll gladly commit to writing the column at no charge — all I’m asking for is a guaranteed news hole in the paper on the same day each week. This is proving to be more difficult than I would have hoped, but that doesn’t deter me from working it. But once it happens (and it will), the rewards of it will come ten-fold.
As Gitomer says… “Next time someone tells you ‘never,’ that means ‘not for at least an hour’.”
Success in selling anything is about doing the things that very few others are willing to do. It means being creative… doing the unexpected… and never giving up.
The trouble with selling services is that most people are unwilling to do just that.