Selling Services – It’s About Relationships

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Because service businesses can’t talk about products on shelves, they often make the mistake of talking about themselves with messages like ‘the best car service in town’ or ‘speedy appliance repairs’. These may sound good to the owner of the business, but they leave out the most important person of all – the customer. The advice that follows applies to however you are putting your message out be it face-to-face, print or social media.

Most services operate through relationships

In general, services are more complex to price, to deliver and to evaluate than products. Defining the quality of service delivery is very difficult but it boils down to whether the customer feels well-served or not.  So the key thing for a business that provides a service to do, is to build strong personal relationships. To do that you need to keep three things in mind.

Know what customers want

Giving customers what they want is the basis of your personal relationship as well as the most critical factor to address in your marketing. What value do they want to receive from you? What problems do they want you to solve for them? What are the benefits they want to enjoy after spending their money with you?  Customers often expect your service to be delivered in a specific way or by a specific person. These considerations must also be taken into account when you’re trying to determine exactly what your customers want.

Give it to them

Are you meeting all their needs or just some of them? Are you delivering your service the way the customers want? Compare what you give your customers with what they really want and you’ll identify areas that need attention and see where you need to make changes to your offering to make it more attractive to prospects and build stronger customer relationships.

Know what your competition is doing

Make a point of monitoring the businesses that compete with you. Ask these same questions about them and compare the answers with what you’re now doing. It’s a good way to discover areas of opportunity for your company and to identify new services that can be added to your offering to build your revenues.

Market services with testimonials

Someone buying a service from you won’t know how good it is until after they’ve actually bought it. To successfully sell your services you need to convince prospects that they’ll receive the value and benefits they are after, and the best way to do this is to use the experiences of your existing customers.  Testimonials are the most powerful means of overcoming any doubt in prospects’ minds about using you to provide the service they need.

Ask your existing customers to speak about their experiences with your business and how you’ve helped them. Concentrate on the points that are key issues for most or all of your customers. Use these testimonials in your marketing; even hang them on the wall in your reception area. When a customer comes to you for a particular service it is generally because they don’t have the expertise or ability to do it themselves. If they can see testimonials as to the quality of work you’ve done for others they’ll be a lot more confident that they too will have a positive relationship with your business.

Bruce Cowan
Bruce Cowan
Bruce brings a wealth of knowledge from a varied career both with large engineering firms and as a small business owner. This experience coupled with his work in voluntary organisations leads naturally to becoming a Business Consultant.
Comments
  • BizCity

    Really informative and helpful for the business community. Great to have you part of http://www.bizcity.co.nz. Thanks, Paul McLaren