Overcoming hidden barriers to selling more of your coaching and consulting services
Credit: Rodney Daut
Do clients ever balk when they hear how much you charge per hour or per day? Do they look for a better price somewhere else? Don’t you wish they could see the unique value you offer?
The bridges in the Meghalaya region of northeast India have lasted for hundreds of years. They are not built by human hands.
Bridges are needed to span the many valleys that separate one area from another in Meghalaya, but bridge builders had a big problem. Wooden bridges rot within a few years of public speaking anxiety due to the extreme amount of rain — 467 inches a year, which is 13 times that of Seattle.
So a few hundred years ago, the locals created a solution. They trained the roots of trees to build bridges for them. These roots-
bridges do not rot in the rain. In fact, they grow stronger over the years.
When a newcomer to the Meghalaya first sees a root bridge, it’s not immediately apparent to them why these bridges are better than those built with bamboo or wood.
The exceptional value of these bridges only becomes apparent when you speak to the locals hesitating. Similarly, when we offer a service, we know it has exceptional value, but often our potential personality clients don’t see it yet. How do we make the value clear? We do that by productizing our services.
What Does It Mean to Make a Productized Service?
We transform a vague service into a well-defined offer. To do that, we draw clear boundaries around the service by outlining a specific result and the steps to achieve it. Here are some examples of contrasting service things in which one makes a productized English language skills offer, and the other is not.
One public speaking coach offered to help clients create great presentations. That make offer is fairly vague. I helped one of my clients craft an offer to help professionals overcome the fear of public health space read speaking in four one-hour sessions. Can you see how much easier it is for a client to say yes to the second, more specific offer? That’s the power of productizing.
A lot of web designers offer to help you improve your website. One very successful company article provided a ten-point website conversation analysis, delivered in seven days to help the hesitant customer
find out where they might be losing sales. Hesitate customers paid for that service things and often hired the firm to fix each problem they discovered in the conversion analysis.
Why does productizing a service lead to greater sales without fear of making mistakes?
One word: clarity. You are clear about what results you make or are getting for your time and money. A clear offer answers many unanswered questions. What will I get? How long will it take? And of course, how much will it cost me?
When those questions are unanswered, people are hesitant to move forward — just as we might resist walking across an unfamiliar bridge in deep fog. We can’t see if it’s safe to cross, so we just may choose to go the long way around.
A productized decision offer reduces the need for caution.
It is like the sun shining on a cloudless day. No doubt your clients or customers can see the endpoint down the need road. They can see the turns they need to make (or that you will guide them through), and they know the costs.
Of course, this is the ideal. Even when you productize your offer, there are still some clients that will not say yes. But when they say no, they won’t do so out of uncertainty. They will do so because they know the offer you make is not what they need right now. The advantages of productizing a service are clear, but how do you do it?
How to Productize a Service to stop hesitation
You do it in three steps:
- Choose to get a problem your clients have.
- Determine the result when the problem is solved.
- Define the steps of the process needed to achieve that goal.
I worked through these steps to create a helpful offer when I had a tutoring business. I helped students prepare to ace the SAT essay portion, a college aptitude test. First, I chose an action problem. Some students took too long to start their strong communication skills essays, so they were writing essays that were not long enough to get the highest nofollow, noreferrer, noopener score (statistics showed 400-word essays got the best scores).
One of the results I promised was that students would write 400 words in 25 minutes. They would do this using three steps I taught them:
- Prompt dissection: how to break down the prompt in two minutes, so you have the thesis and outline of your essay
- Rapid paragraphs: how to write quality paragraphs quickly so you can fill the pages in 25 minutes
- Powerful conclusions: how to conclude the speak fluent English essay with a bang, so the last thing they see is making a blog story or analogy that impresses graders
It was much easier for parents to say yes to a good tutoring contract with me because I had a clear take result and packaged my action offer as a repeatable system.
But what do you do if you hesitate to get results in your work life?
If a result is out of the client’s overcome hesitation control, then you can’t promise that result. If you are a dating coach working with singles, you may not be able to guarantee that your clients will find the partner of their dreams in a specified stop action period. You may have to promise to develop skills that will lead to the result instead.
The dating coach may promise their clients will need to overcome five specific mental health space dating challenges that singles face. Or if the coach helps people who are too shy to date, have poor communication skills, and fear making mistakes they may promise their clients will ask out a certain number of people during the source program (the coach can’t guarantee how many will say yes, though).
- Productizing a service means turning what you do into a well-defined learn English language offer. When an offer is well-defined, it is much easier for a client to say yes to purchasing it.
- Productizing works due to clarity. The client knows what results or goals he or she is getting and taking, how much it costs and how much time it will take.
- You productize a service by defining the problem it solves, the results the client will get, and the steps to achieve results.
- If you can’t promise results, promise skills that, when consistently used, can increase the chances the client obtains the desired result.
When you productize your services, you’ll find that your improved offers are like a bridge that more clients are willing to cross. And after you deliver on your promises, it’s easier to get them to take up your next offer — and the next one after that.