When you primarily sell products, you have a great many freedoms that a service professional doesn’t have. However, these freedoms can also have a dark side that service professionals don’t need to bother with. Here are several ways in which marketing a service is different from marketing a product.
Relationships are key.
If you sell vacuums, you make your sale and move on. However, if you provide a cleaning service, you need to build a relationship with your clients so they not only let you into their homes and places of business, but work with you so that you can provide a better service.
Relationships are key to the success of a service business. Without good client relationships, there is no one to provide your service to!
The need to be picky.
When you sell products, you don’t really need to like your customers … at least not all of them. But when you provide a service, you’ll be working with that client over a period of time. If you don’t like your clients, you’ll be miserable in your business.
Objections are red flags.
When you sell a product, your goal is to overcome objections to the sale. However, when you offer a service, this could backfire. Objections are red flags that the service might not be a match for the prospect, or that your service is missing something important that makes it valuable.
Less pricing flexibility
When you sell products, you have the flexibility to offer bulk discounts. But, when you offer a service, you are selling a commodity that is not so flexible … your time. If you offer a “bulk time” discount, you are devaluing your time and that won’t end well.
Less fixed costs.
When you sell products, you can fairly easily estimate the cost of production and delivery. Your costs are pretty much fixed, and may even go down the more products you produce. The opposite is true with a service. You can only estimate how much time a particular service will take … and there will always be variables outside of your control that will mess with those estimates. Also, time isn’t less valuable the more you use it.