Don't Sell Your Services -
by Tessa Stowe
That's Not What People Buy!
Try a different approach to selling your services.
Believe it or not, no one actually buys your service. No one buys coaching. No one buys consulting. No one buys financial planning. So what do people buy? Well, there are, in fact, two things people buy.
The first thing people buy is a solution to a problem.
People buy a service only because they believe it will solve certain problems and give them certain results. They are not buying the "how" of a service. Your service is simply the "how" you do it. Your service is the tool or method you use to solve problems and deliver results.
Do you buy a hammer because you just want a hammer? Do you buy a car because you just want a car? Do you go to the dentist because you happen to feel like being drilled? These examples show you that you are buying a solution to a problem; you are buying a result. You would not buy a hammer, a car or go to the dentist unless they all solved problems and delivered results.
Just suppose you focus on telling someone all about "how" your coaching and consulting service works and what it is. At the end of the conversation (if they are still listening), they will have a good understanding of your "how" but they'll be left wondering what problems you will solve for them and what results you will deliver.
If people do not know what problems you will solve for them and the results you will deliver, it is highly unlikely that they will buy your service. If however you focus on understanding their problems and the results they will get, you will be focusing on what people are buying and your chances of success will be dramatically increased.
The second thing people buy is YOU.
Once someone has decided they have a problem they want solved, they then make a decision as to who will solve it for them. If you have focused the conversation on telling them all about your "how" and what your service is, they will feel that you are focused on yourself and your needs. When the focus is on you, people get the sense that you have your own best interest at heart and don't really care about them. They will start to think you are simply trying to sell them something, and all sorts of sales resistance will surface.
If you have been focusing the conversation on understanding their problems, they will feel that you have their best interests at heart. They will start to trust you and open up to you. They will naturally decide you are the person to solve their problems (assuming of course there are problems to be solved, etc).
So in summary, don't focus on selling your services. Instead, have conversations where you focus on understanding problems and then people will assume you know "how" to deliver results. The more you focus on understanding their problems, the more they will trust that you are the one they should be working with.
(c) Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation, 2006.
Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her free monthly Sales Conversation Letter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up at http://www.salesconversation.com