As more people turn away from corporate jobs to creating service businesses, you need to find more ways to compete successfully. One way to do that is by packaging your services. Not only will you be able to market more easily, but it may make you more profitable. Customers will have a better understanding of what you offer, and they'll value it more highly. Plus, it can make it easier for you to deliver and get paid faster. Here are the many reasons why packaging is essential for your business' survival.
Selling a Service is Not Like Selling Vacuum Cleaners
Marketing intangible services requires a different approach than for tangible goods. You need to provide evidence that your services can be delivered with some reliability, since intangible means a buyer can’t see, touch or try before they buy. This “proof” may come in many forms:
Why You Should Turn Your Service into a Product
Beyond the evidence noted above, give your services “characteristics” of a product to make them seem tangible.
Avoid selling hours. If you're always selling your time, you'll never grow beyond your own capacity or have the ability to scale. Build value into a package of services that take less time to deliver, but result in more perceived value. Hours are also really tough to track, especially when ideas can strike you at any time (um, in the shower?) — you should be compensated for those. Clients also don't like the idea of a bottomless pit of hours, especially when they don't understand how long something will take.
Make your services easier to buy
People love neat and tidy solutions, like kits and systems. They often don't understand what they're buying from you, and if you focus on what you're delivering, rather than a myriad of details, it's easier for clients to "acquire" what you're selling. Plus, it may also reduce the need for negotiations. Of course, if they want those details, you'll need to be ready to supply them.
Differentiate your services
How you package your services is another way to help you stand out from your competition. This may work especially well if you can create a package that uniquely suits your particular target audience.
You can't always guarantee an outcome
When you're offering a specific service, it's almost impossible to guarantee that someone's business will be more profitable. There are often too many variables that are outside your control. For example, in marketing, if a client's product isn't market-ready, all the advertising in the world isn't going to work. But with a package, you can guarantee that you will deliver the services you're selling. If you can also make the case that a package of services has worked for other clients, that lends credence to it.
Save time writing proposals
This one is huge for me. I'd rather spend my time working with clients than doing what feels administrative. When you offer fixed prices for a set of services, it's just so much simpler to put together a bid.
Spend a lot less time explaining your services
When you create fixed packages, you can write up the benefits, which will make them easier to market and you won't have to repeat yourself. Plus, you can provide checklists, tip sheets, and other materials that support the package. This will lead to an increase in perceived value and tangibility of your services.
Reduce scope creep
A fixed set of services means everyone knows what to expect for a set price. Everyone is on the same page. It will become clear if anything is added or changed, which will help you justify an additional charge.
Get referred more often
Packages may even help you get referred, because people will have a clear understanding of what you offer.
Deliver services consistently to increase your margins
Packaging helps you streamline your operations. You'll become more efficient at repeating a process over and over. When you get really good at nailing down your process, you can start to hire less expensive people to help you deliver it with less oversight, which leads to higher margins (booyah!).
Start with a Baseline Service Package
You don't have to package everything at once. Start by bundling together a few tasks you're always doing for clients. Give it a good name. Price it. Write up what the package includes and then describe the benefits and highlight the value your client will derive from it. Practice your sales pitch, remembering to say how well it has worked for clients in the past. Post it on your website and offer it during sales calls. You'll be amazed at how much simpler, and profitable, your work will become.
You may also like: