I’ve been working with a client on framing their services as something sellable, particularly something sellable using online marketing. I’m going to leave out the client’s name and industry because the themes here are universal. There’s no rocket science here, just some important basics.
When I first walked in the door and asked what do you do for clients, the answer was “It depends.” When I asked how much your services cost, again the answer was “It depends.” Sadly, this is more common than you would think.
In order to sell their services, they had to talk to people first. They were providing a 30 minute free consultation where they would find out what problems the potential customer was having and end up solving some of them during that meeting — essentially giving away free service. Then they would put together a customized set of services. Every customer was different and they had the problem of keeping track of what they were doing for each customer. They didn’t realize how much time and effort they were spending just on that.
One of the interesting challenges in this process has been that the client was too close to the problem. This is simply how they had always done it and thinking in terms of defined services was somewhat foreign.
Now we’ve uncovered the ways that their customer are really clustered into categories and each category of has similar needs. Based on that we’ve put together a set of standard services with standard pricing. This is a really important step because a standard, describable service is a lot easier to sell than an “it depends” service with an “it depends” price. The categories help us focus the marketing messages so they are more relevant to the customers.
Another important benefit is that selling services this way allows them to standardize how they deliver the services too. Now they can deliver their services more quickly and less expensively.