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How-To: Sell Your Service?

I've seen a lot of posts on FounderDating about independent consulting and other service-based startups. I also have a service-based, product sourcing/development startup with a fully-functioning website, Facebook page, and LinkedIn page. Initially, I relied on social media and word of mouth to gain customers. Does anyone have any tips on how to gain even more customers and essentially sell a service? Thanks!

17 Replies

Mark Wing
3
0
Mark Wing Advisor
Client Engagement Director at Small Back Room
Best way to sell a service is to position the business as the relevant thought leader. Speak at appropriate events, capture leads and set up a value filled automated email campaign to help nurture and deepen the relationships.
William Sarine
0
0
William Sarine Advisor
VP, Business Development
Consulting is a service that requires a clear value message. I consulted on many topical areas mostly on issues in sales and market strategy. Now retired I am often called on to teach my 10/40 program of time management focus. I suggest you first define what you do in as few words as possible. Then tell me about your business.
Durojaiye Gbenga Dolapo
0
0
Chief Executive Officer at EATSVILLE
I agree Mark's thought process, however that approach would work best for an established brand trying to gain authority..For a new brand I would suggest you host your own event where you invite other notable leaders in your industry, naturally industry leaders are news worthy. Be sure to impress in all aspects. This will generate awareness and equity for your brand.
Sam McAfee
4
0
Sam McAfee Advisor
Building Popup Incubators for Corporate Innovation Programs
Make sure you're targeting the right customer segment for your service by validating that they have the problem you solve, are aware they have the problem, and are even spending dollars to try and solve it now. Then, make sure you differentiate between your user, buyer, and decider, who are not always the same person. Totally agree on the crystal clear value proposition, but you may have to customize your pitch for each of these roles. You'll have to prove it's better to hire your firm than assemble internal resources to solve the problem. How can you make that case? That's how I'd think about it, to start.
Ross Meador
0
0
Ross Meador Advisor
Business Attorney Specializing in Corporate Law, Contracts, Securities, IP Protection and Licensing
Who is your target market? Do they know you exist? If not, make sure they do. If so, remind them frequently of the ways you can make their life better.
Peter Johnston
0
0
Peter Johnston Advisor
Businesses are composed of pixels, bytes & atoms. All 3 change constantly. I make that change +ve.
If you are doing something and not getting the results, is the answer to do something else as well, or to find out why you are not getting the results?

One of the basic parameters of a service business is that it doesn't scale - there are only so many hours of your time you can sell - and word of mouth is more than capable of getting you to this level.

So perhaps your promotion and network methods are poor, maybe the sector is oversubscribed (meaning you haven't moved on and differentiated), maybe your clients aren't seeing the value and therefore not telling others.

It is about product/market fit. Get the message right before you simply try to shout louder.

Glenn Donovan
4
0
Glenn Donovan Advisor
Vice President of Sales (fractional)
Hi. I have lots of ideas how to do so, but I do get paid for such advice. That said here are a few insights:

- Services vendors are important relationships for companies, with high "intangibles" versus product businesses. Products are finite, they do what they do and that's it. But even in product businesses, particularly in B2B, one finds that the human connection and framing of a narrative is more important to the buying experience than features. So, first things first, your "Point of View" is everything in a services business. "Power positioning" it so that once clients self-select for your narrative/framing of the need/issue/problem/opportunity means you win is the way to differentiation.

- Standing out means that you are connecting with influencers/thought leaders/prospects in your industry. If social media is effective in your business - meaning the people you need to reach are active on social media - then amplifying on those platforms is called for. If not, other methods are called for. But what is true in any scenario is that you want to create "pull" rather than the more conventional "push" model so demand comes at you versus having to "generate" demand.

- Your website messaging is weak. I went to your site, and what relevant messaging is there is all about what you do. I had to dig into a sub-section and scroll down to find out that you actually do things like optimize where a seam should be on a reclining chair to reduce materials costs. Messaging should be all about the customer and their issues. My guess is that if you are doing promotion that includes a visit to your website as part of "conversion", your website is a falloff in the conversion chain.

The real truth is you can't just "wing it" when it comes to sales and marketing. "Growth hacking" and "hustling" are just click bait for people looking for short cuts. Growing your business will entail doing two things well. 1. Engaging the right people 2. Delivering value that is relevant and differentiating to them in each interaction. If you start there, I'm sure you will get better results than you are currently getting.
illoh ifeoma
0
0
illoh ifeoma Entrepreneur
I Help Businesses with Social Selling, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing. Podcast host at www.MarketingKissPR.com
Every suggestion is well said, those are really important, but the way I understand your question, you're asking for other ways to reach customers other than social media and word of mouth. If that's the case, you should definitely give active lead gen a trial using email outreach funnel to contact your target customers. (You didn't mention using this :)
Gabriel Goldstein
0
0
16+ Yrs Entrepreneur, Engineer, Product Development, PCB Design, Electronics, Manufacturing, Founder
Can you elaborate what "active lead gen a trial using email outreach funnel" looks like?
illoh ifeoma
0
0
illoh ifeoma Entrepreneur
I Help Businesses with Social Selling, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing. Podcast host at www.MarketingKissPR.com
Hey Gabriel,It's a service I offer, that said, I hope this summary helps.

It means you're actively generating leads using what I call an
"email outreach funnel" which simply meansyou setup email templates with the follow up sequence.

Launch your email sequence to potential prospects using a tool like outreach to remove themanual work out of it.

Stats says 80% of sales require 5 follow upcalls, and most sales outreach give up after onefollow up.

Setting up this email outreach funnel takes care of that from theget go.



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