Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
You meet someone with a service to sell and they can’t quite explain (a) what it is and how it works and (b) how they can supply it you – oh, and probably (c) how much it is likely to cost.
Confused? Join the queue.
If you can’t quantify what you do and put a price on it how can people decide whether to buy it or not?
Sounds like basic marketing, right? Many service providers, consultants and sole traders operate this way – working their way through networking groups aimlessly trying to sell a service few people can figure out how to buy.
Don’t get me wrong – one size rarely fits all and we all like a bespoke service – and often there are unique parameters to each job – but it has to be based on something.
Packaging a service into an understandable, buyable product is called productification and is key to winning business.
Think of it like marching into a pub and being told they by the landlord they sell ‘some beer’ – but he or she can’t quantify the cost of halves or pints of differing ales, lagers, ciders and stouts.
For example, with our training courses at CGM we can tell you upfront exactly what a training day will consist of – the times, the skills you’ll learn, breakdown of the day into sessions, who is delivering the training, the aims and likely outcomes (with public speaking courses we guarantee people are likely to leave being able to deliver a note-free speech. A bold boast, I know but we’ve yet to find anyone who has failed – and yet ‘drying up’ is the morbid fear of most would-be public speakers).
We’ll order the light lunch you want, make tea, coffee, water or other soft drinks available all day, send directions and parking details in advance and course notes afterwards – oh, and the price is set. It’s a wrap.
Packaging is different from discounting.
Wrapping things up can mean you’re not laboriously breaking things down job by job into hourly rates (and if you don’t know what your hourly /daily rates are I’d suggest you work on that asap) but it does mean you can calculate in advance the time it takes to deliver the service (now a product) and that it makes sense to you financially and is ideally within the parameters of similar service providers in your sector.
If you don’t know this – again, do your research. It doesn’t have to be the cheapest but must make sense to the customer.
Presenting these details in your marketing will help enormously and guess what, it is the biggest barrier holding many growing businesses back.
At April’s Business Media Club we’ll show how you can productify the seemingly most difficult to quantify of services and provide a template for you to use to develop your own service products.
Our next Business Media Club meeting is on Friday, April 26 (9.45am-12.30pm) at the CGM Media Centre in Worcester.