Selling a service is different than selling a product.
When you sell a product, you’re selling something tangible – it’s an object, and your customer can easily research it to find out what it does, how much your competitors are selling it for, and what other objects are available that do the same thing.
When you sell a service, you’re selling the intangible – there is no physical “thing” that your customer can research – it doesn’t exist.
Your customer can get references, or compare the services that you offer to those offered by somebody else, but it’s not as cut and dry as it is with products.
I’ve seen a lot of sales reps who are successful at selling products fail miserably at selling services because they aren’t able to show their customer the value of their services.
One of their biggest problems is their presentation.
Their product sales come with tons of background information, nice flyers, and propaganda from the manufacturer, so the quote is pretty straightforward – here’s the product, and here’s the price.
On the service side, they approach the service sale in a similar fashion, but they run into trouble.
They typically don’t have the well-funded marketing machine that can offer professional-grade propaganda, so they may have a one-page marketing flyer on their service, and a confusing quote that shows the service and the price.
They’re not clearly showing the value, and the customer doesn’t have a way to figure it out on his own.
When you sell services, you need to clearly convey value to the customer, and the way to do that without a large marketing engine behind you is through the service proposal itself.
A well-written service proposal clearly outlines two pieces:
- The customer’s issue
- How your service will address that issue.
When you do this, it’s much easier for the customer to see how your service will help him, and it sets you apart from your competitors.
I guarantee that if you do it correctly, you will sell more services.
One of the biggest challenges sales reps have with making service proposals is that it takes them a lot of time.
Often times, an engineer is responsible for coming up with the “meat” of the proposal, which typically has a long turnaround time, is filled with technical jargon that the customer doesn’t understand, and presented as a big paragraph of confusion that doesn’t clearly show the value of the service.
Writing service proposals is a bit of an art, but once you learn how to do it correctly, it can be done in a few minutes, and you’ll end up with a document that clearly outlines how your service will fit your customer’s needs.
Here are some quick tips on creating service proposals:
- Break it out into defined sections, so it’s easy for your customer to follow
- State the client case – what is their issue?
- Quickly define your proposed service
- Go into a little more details on the service
- Outline pricing and terms & conditioins
- Add your legal documents at the end with a signature page
In my post The Easy Way To Write Killer Service Proposals, I walk you through creating a service proposal, and I include a link to a template I’ve uploaded in the form that has it already built for you.