Clients buy services differently than they buy products. Where products are frequently sold by features and attributes, services are sold on reputation, referral and relationships.
Today on The Sales Evangelist we talk with Tom McMakin about the challenges of selling services, and the key to becoming the very best at your chosen field of expertise.
In his new book, How Clients Buy, McMakin introduces two different kinds of trust.
The first trust results when a person consistently follows through on his word. If, for example, I consistently show up on time to give you a ride to the airport, you will learn to trust my word.
The second trust develops as a seller demonstrates that he has his buyer’s best interest at heart. If a mechanic routinely recommends only the necessary repairs to your car without suggesting extraneous costly repairs, you develop a trust that your mechanic is protecting your interests.
That trust creates a valuable relationship over time, and it impacts how clients buy services.
The world tells sellers to broadcast in order to spread the word about their product. Sellers, conversely, should narrowcast.
Segment your market. Find the people you most want to serve and connect them to one another.
Instead of immediately trying to sell them, help them create a conversation amongst themselves about best practices in the space they occupy.
You don’t have to be the person with all the answers; you simply become the person who knows where to find all the answers. When they view you as a resource, they’ll likely become clients who buy services.
Shrink the pond.
Position yourself as the very best at something; use geography, company type, size and specialty. Shrink the size of your pond until you’re the biggest fish in the pond.
If you can’t be the number one cybersecurity company in the Rocky Mountain region, then consider positioning yourself as the number one cybersecurity company for law firms in the Rocky Mountain region.
Look at your case studies and your experience. Stake a claim to the service you’re best at.
Understand the buyer’s journey.
McMakin has identified 7 steps people take when they are considering buying services.
Because there aren’t many books about selling services, especially those that address the impact technology has had on the industry, he wrote a book to help those selling services become the best in their fields.
His major takeaway is to define who you want to serve an underwrite the conversation between them. Stop thinking about what you want to say to them and create a peer conversation instead.
That effort will seed the clouds that will water your future growth.
The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is a group coaching program designed to bring sellers of all levels and all industries together to exchange ideas. The Hustler’s League provides high quality training that doesn’t cost a fortune, and it allows you to connect with other sellers.
We begin a new semester in April focused on building value for your prospects, and we’d be honored to have you join us.
You can email Tom directly at howclientsbuy.net for more information about his book or his services.
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