Selling a service: The attainable, intangible sale.

While services are very much a needed commodity, intangibility is a unique challenge that businesses face. There are a few key areas that can be focused on to help make the decision for a potential customer easy: why the company offers the service, what the service can do for a potential customer’s business and how the service works.

Why was the service created? Most service products are created for one specific type of customer, unlike mass produced tangible products that can easily tweaked and mass marketed. For example, before home warranties were developed, homeowners of newly constructed homes were having quality issues with their homes and having to fight with their builder to get repairs made. Performance guidelines needed to be put in place to protect homeowners and legal documentation was needed to protect the builder from being sued; which is what a home warranty can help do. This is the opener to the story of the product.

What does the service do for a potential customer’s business? Efficiency is one of the greatest benefits that a service can add to a business mix. They can save a customer time instead of doing the leg work themselves and/or money from having to pay an in-house salaried employee to do it. Potential customers can also benefit from a service product as they offer a personalized experience and are focused on relationship building. In most cases, services assign a representative or account manager to a customer (company) who takes the time to understand and know your business. This gives the service personality and makes it more relatable. For example, instead of referencing a warranty company as 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty®, it’s referenced as John from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty.

How does the service work? The story has been built up; a need has been created for the service. This is where a run-down of the service is explained. Many service products offer tangible products as well as an added benefit, such as marketing materials to help educate consumers. In most cases, the materials help to highlight why a consumer should go with that particular company because of the added benefit of the service product. This helps put the potential customer at ease knowing they have materials they need for implementation of the service product.

Answering the questions above can help in developing the persuasive case for the service product being sold. Whether intangible or tangible product, there is a story to be told.

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