Sunday, February 11, 2007

5 Tips for Jazzing Up Your Service Sales

Selling a service is especially challenging because a service cannot be seen or touched, only experienced. Bringing tangibility to the service you are selling is the first step in getting the biz. Here are 5 tips to jazzing up your service sales:

  1. Develop tangible aids to increase confidence in your service. This includes testimonials from clients and visuals of your service. If you have a lawn maintenance company, provide before and after photos in your marketing materials. If you have a metal refinishing business, provide refinished metal samples that people can hold.

  2. Educate your customer. I worked for an elevator company for 12 years and sold elevator service agreements. It's hard to quantify what "elevator service" is and so I educated customers by getting them physically involved in how the elevator operated. This included how the controls worked by walking the customer into the elevator equipment room, the purpose of all the keyswitches inside the elevator cab, how to use the firefighters' safety operation, etc. It is up to you to get your customer excited and educated about the product for which you are providing service.

  3. Understand customers perceive more risk from service companies. Customers have more anxiety about purchasing consulting services than furniture, for example. To relieve this anxiety don't be vague about your services - spell out what you do in explicit detail. And use visual examples when possible.

  4. Sell the difference. Know what qualities make your service different from your competitors and focus on the benefits of these qualities. But don't slam your competitor. Simply focus on the positive aspects of your service that others do not provide.

  5. You may measure success different than your customer. When providing a service it's not just the final outcome that determines a customer's subjective opinion of satisfaction. When I sold elevator service, many times the customers with the fewest elevator problems were more likely to cancel. While customers that experienced ongoing elevator issues were my biggest fans. If the customer perceives that you are doing everything you can (and more) he will sing your praises to others.