Sales of your service business are weak. You can blame the economy. You can call it bad luck, bad timing, or bad karma. Maybe your service business just had some bad sales reps. Maybe your service business needs a branding facelift and a new website.
Poor assumptions cause poor sales
There are many causes for poor sales. My bookshelves are filled with sales and marketing books, and every one of those books sketches potential reasons for poor sales. In my experience, service companies overwhelmingly suffer from poor sales due to poor assumptions by owners and staff.
Here are some of the assumptions I commonly see:
- “People know what this type of service costs.”
- “Homeowners demand I be priced at or below my competition.”
- “My company delivers the same service as my competition.”
- “We deliver better service, and customers know it.”
- “Prospects know what we are selling, they just can’t make a decision to buy.”
That last assumption is a business killer. It is lethal to your business to assume your prospects understand the specifics and value of your offer. You should communicate every little detail and benefit of your service as if your prospect is from another planet.
Service business marketing: Talk about the obvious
Your clients know very little about all of the extras your company provides. Often, your most loyal clients are the ones that switched to another provider at some point, and then they recognized the true value of working with your company. Why is that?
The simple answer is that the competition failed to deliver. The correct answer is: most of your clients do not understand or appreciate your service because you have not helped them see what makes you better. It is not their fault; it is your responsibility to communicate what you believe is obvious and apparent.
Reinforcing the obvious benefits – When, where, and how
You company is unique. It is your responsibility to be sure the benefits and uniqueness of your business smack your current and prospective customers in the face. You can make it obvious to everyone why you are the best choice for your target market.
Obvious benefits – when should I communicate?
Always. Nonstop. Relentlessly. The old rule used to be to “3+” anything you want another person to remember. That is, it used to be you had to say the same thing three times to be sure the other party remembered you saying it.
The 3+ rule was considered a minimum in a time before all of the additional messaging noise we have today. Your prospects today receive thousands of messages each day. You need to reinforce your value consistently and relentlessly.
Obvious benefits – where should I communicate?
There are lots of paid platforms to communicate your message: television, radio, billboards, and mail are some quick examples. There are also many free platforms you can communicate on.
Your website – Your service business website has a difficult job. It must reinforce your messaging to customers and partners, but it must also introduce your company to new prospects. You can start by checking your website against my 7 design tips for service business websites.
Your print materials – Take a look at your marketing brochures, sell sheets, and information kits. If you removed your logo from them, do they really communicate anything unique about your business?
Social Media – Reinforce obvious benefits of your company as you engage your audience on forums, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Do not promote, but inform those audiences about your industry and what makes your company unique.
Obvious benefits – how should I communicate?
Your messaging should not be coming like 105.1 MPH fastball. Slow it down. Bite-sized portions are best. Identify the top three benefits of your service, and repeatedly communicate each of them individually.
In five words or less, what is a major benefit of your service? In copy and in advertising, this is how you should be communicating what makes you better.
What are the obvious benefits of your service?
Let’s all give this a try. In the comments below, tell me, what are the obvious benefits of your service? Have you ever had an “A HA” moment where you realized a prospect was not seeing the obvious?
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