How-to: Package Your Services Like a Pro
June 10, 2013
Service providers sometimes find it tough to actually sell their services, especially when it comes to selling them online. The services offered may, in fact, be the best in the industry, or even in high demand, but people just aren’t clicking to buy. Why is that?
Most often the issue is something simple: it’s the website copy. The copy is failing to give potential clients clarity on just what the service provider can do for them and how it will benefit them.
It’s much easier if you’re selling your services face-to-face, since you’re working from a real conversation with the client where you can build rapport, and then probe for their pain points. From there, you can make best-fit suggestions for each client, and then even up-sell to offer a more complete solution. But when you rely on your website to generate leads or sales, your copy needs to do the face-time for you. So, where to begin?
Where Websites Go Wrong
For starters, many businesses will offer either too many service options, or too few. It’s easy for service businesses to fall into the trap of offering an extensive, laundry list of “things you can do” for clients and leave it at that. The common mentality is that the more options there are, the better, since there’s “something for everyone” on your list.
Unfortunately, this is not the way to secure more business. Have you ever been out for dinner at a restaurant when a huge menu arrives at the table? If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably pretty overwhelmed or maybe even confused by all the choices. When you do finally make a decision, you’re left with a bit of doubt, wondering if you missed something better or if you really made the right choice. This is not the experience you want your customers to have.
On the other hand, you also don’t want to offer so few options that a client is left wondering how you can meet their unique needs with only a handful of “for everyone” options. You will need to find the right balance with this. A few tests on your website response rate when running with different service lists may be necessary to find that “sweet spot” you’re looking for.
Group Similar or Complimentary Services
In addition to finding the right number of offerings, you may want to consider grouping your services into packages.
This is much better than listing your services one-by-one. Ideally, a well-presented package will offer the most value to your client. They will be able to locate different types of services quickly, and see which services belong together so they can choose the most complete solution possible.
Once you have grouped packages, take a few moments to explain how your service works and point out the benefits it offers. Speak directly to your client’s pain points. If you run a spa that offers sensitive skin treatments bundled as a package, then make sure you address the discomfort that your potential client may experience with their skin, and how your services will ease that pain. It’s also great to point out how the different services combined together create the ideal solution.
Your packages are acting as your “recommendations” and your clients will appreciate the experience of taking advice from an expert service provider. It’s comforting to be in good hands, after all.
Remember, outside of grouped offerings, you can always offer an a la carte menu for things that happen to fall outside the scope of a package, or for small one-off type projects. You can also use the a la carte menu to pull add-ons from. If a client is enjoying your service already, they will likely be open to additional offerings you have that may offer them even more value.
Do a Bit of Gardening
Weed out services that no longer serve your clients well or that you just don’t enjoy providing. There’s nothing worse than offering a service to a client that you don’t feel good about doing or that takes up more time or resources than it’s worth.
Take stock of the services that have drawn the most business, or have attracted your best clients, and invest time into marketing these more effectively. You can use an online data tool, like Google Analytics, to determine which areas of your website receive the most action (clicks, page views, time spent on the page, etc.). This information will help you make decisions about what to keep and what to cut based on past traffic trends. You can also use this tool to regularly monitor how your website updates impact these numbers.
Consider Strategic Partnering
Sometimes there are aspects to a specific service you offer that you love, but other aspects that you don’t. Or perhaps you’d like to pursue the path of becoming a specialist in a certain aspect of your business.
Instead of doing away with the service altogether, consider outsourcing the parts you are less keen on. Or consider partnering with a complimentary service provider and building your packages together. You provide parts a, b, and c, and then your partner provides parts d, e, and f. It’s a win-win for you both since you’re able to service clients you would have otherwise turned away. And you still get to love what you’re doing at the same time.
Be Very Specific
There’s nothing worse than the dreaded scope creep. You offer several services together, but aren’t clear about what you will and won’t do within those offerings. Before you know it, you’re like a hamster in a wheel, trying to keep up with all the additional things your client expects.
And you have a hard time saying no, because clear expectations and deliverables weren’t firmly laid out within your package description. This creates a negative experience for both you and the client. It’s always much better to be crystal clear about what is actually included and then you have wiggle room leftover to pleasantly surprise a client with a free add-on. You can never go wrong with over-delivering on a client’s expectations.
Remember, there’s no exact science to packaging your services. What works well for one service business may not work at all for another. But what’s important is working to find the right balance for your business and organizing your offerings in a way that makes it easy for clients to find what they need and be excited about your services. If you keep this in mind when packaging your offerings, you will be raking in the sales in no time.