Services Marketing Requires a Different Approach
Why is Services Marketing Different?Marketing services is distinctly different from marketing products and requires a different approach. Within the technology space services exist as a standalone business such as IT Services and as a supporting component of a product, such as training or implementation services In this post we’re going to examine the characteristics that make the marketing of services unique and look at techniques that can be used to grow a services business.
Selling the InvisibleServices marketing is often referred to as “selling the invisible” because the buyer purchase is intangible. Services are not physical and cannot be possessed or inventoried. Additionally, there is nothing you can do to make services tangible.
Delivery Cannot be Separated from ProductionPeople deliver services and the production of the services cannot be separated from the production of the services. Examples would be a haircut, a medical exam, installing software, or diagnosing a network problem.
Quality and Consistency VaryService quality and consistency are subject to great variability because the delivery of the service can change so much due to people factors and due to customer requirements. Ultimately the buyer will never know for sure how good the service is until it is delivered.
Delivery Involves a ProcessUsually there is a process involved in the delivery of a service, either formally or informally. In the case of Launch Clinic, we use the Product Launch Framework as a methodology for planning and managing a product launch.
Pricing May Vary for Similar ServicesPricing may very for similar services
Techniques to ConsiderIf you are early in the process of getting your services company off the ground you will want focus on a few items that should make a significant impact on your selling process.
Reputation of the FoundersThe early gigs you get for the services you deliver are going to be on the strength of the founders’ network and reputation. Work your network to get those initial customers and do whatever it takes to get testimonials and references.
Have a Documented MethodologyAs a service provider you should have a documented methodology that you use to deliver your services. The methodology demonstrates your approach to delivering the services that leaves an impression in the buyer’s mind that your process isn’t open ended. The methodology tells your buyers that you know what you’re doing and you’re not going to “wing it”. The methodology helps to convey to your prospects that you will deliver a level of quality and consistency.
Customer References and TestimonialsFor a service provider nothing can have more impact than when your customers lavish praise on your company’s ability to deliver. Work carefully and methodically to cultivate and document that praise and don’t be shy about sharing it with your prospects and other influencers. The best way is to ask and to keep vigilant for testimonial opportunities. Think “Can I quote you on that?”. The quotes an be used on your web site, in your marketing materials and in your sales process. It’s easily one of the most important things you should strive to achieve.
Focus on the Value You DeliverCustomers want to know what you can do for them, not what you do. Depending on the service you deliver it may be important to indicate which technologies your team is competent with. However, it’s more important to convey the value you can deliver and why your company is the one to deliver that value.
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