Service vs Products: The Marketing Difference

By , Business Growth & Marketing Expert

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Sandra P. Martini - Business Growth & Marketing Expert

Would you prefer to listen to this week’s article? If so, click here to listen. 

What does your business sell?

Over 80% of the market sells services and yet most marketing describes how to sell products. The difference between the two is huge:

  • Services are initially intangible. Products are decidedly tangible.
  • Services are invested in based on a certain level of trust and, often, worry that someone will/will not do what they say they will. Products are purchased based on wanting “it” (the car, the iPad, the *thing*).
  • Products either work or they don’t. Services have a lot more ambiguity in whether they “work” or not.

Most everyone reading this article offers a service:

  • Coaches, mentors and consultants
  • Healing specialists
  • Virtual assistants
  • Real estate agents
  • Information marketers 

The great thing about service businesses is that you can truly distinguish yourself from your competition and price is less of a barrier.

Even product businesses are seeing that the road to more, and more frequent, purchases is paved with additional services. Services designed to impress.

Any car dealer can sell the XYZ car with all the options for a bargain. The competition lies in the add-ons: free oil changes, courtesy loaner cars, pickup and drop off when repairs are needed.

You aren’t like your competition – you’re unique – your ideal prospects can’t compare you to the consultant up the street and make a decision on price alone. You see, when it comes to investing in your services, whether or not prospective clients hire you typically comes down to how they feel about you.

Nothing as simple as “I like the color” or “This car was rated a best buy”.  It all comes down to feelings, trust, perception and personality. What’s their perception of you? Do they like you? 

It may feel like high school all over again, but reality is for someone to invest with you, they have to feel a connection on some level – a certain trust that you’ll do what you say you’ll do and that you’ll keep their best interests at heart. 

You don’t have to be the most popular person in the market – you do have to connect and resonate with your ideal clients. . .at every level of your business.

My Request to You

Knowing that offering a service means you have to connect with your ideal client and that she’ll invest with you if she trusts you, what can you do to increase your credibility?

  • Walk your talk
  • Ensure you make a positive impression at every contact point (website, newsletter, email, phone, etc.)
  • Ask clients for comments/testimonials and rotate them on your website
  • Understand your clients and what it’s like to be where they are
  • Provide Extreme Client Care™ such that you truly have no competition

So choose your words, and actions, wisely. If you, knowingly or not, betray the trust your prospects have put into you/your brand, it’ll cost you and your reputation and recovery is a long, impoverished road.

Creator of Escalator Marketing, Sandra Martini specializes in showing small business owners how to create a business with multiple streams of revenue while living their lives.  Known for her "tell it like it is" yet nurturing approach, Sandy's clients benefit from her over 20 years in the start-up and marketing fields.

© Copyright 2013 Sandra P. Martini

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