Author: Mike Spear, VP of Sales
I’ve been selling services in the technology industry for 23 years. Technology has certainly changed over those years, but the method to sell services stays consistent. The biggest challenge is getting a prospective customer to see the value in your services over your competitor. When the customer can’t see the physical product, it’s difficult to explain features and benefits. Every sales person believes the services they are selling are superior to the competition, so how do you articulate that message and win business?
Here are 4 ways to improve your service selling skills:
1. Remember that You are the Product
How you represent yourself is how your company is perceived. First impressions matter, so let’s keep it simple; be on time and dress appropriately. If you’re late, you’re wasting the client's valuable time and trust is immediately compromised before you even shake hands. Like it or not, people judge you on first impressions, so make it count!
People buy services from individuals they like and trust. Let the client get to know you and your company. Build a rapport with them - a business relationship requires trust. The stronger your rapport with your clients, the better chance of closing the business.
Be passionate when selling! This means showing energy and enthusiasm about your service.. If you don’t believe in what you’re selling, you have no shot convincing the client your company can do the job. Be passionate when it comes to the company and the consultants you represent. If you are excited about solving their business problem through technology, they will get excited as well.
2. Be a Great Storyteller
Telling a prospect what you do isn’t selling. A prospect doesn’t care about the service you offer. They care about how it’s going to help them. They care about what’s going to happen after they hire you. You need to focus on outcomes. Certainly, they need to understand what you do, but that does very little to differentiate you from your competition. Ask questions that allow you to understand the business problem and frame a story about your service offering that results in a positive outcome for the prospect.
Don’t let your message get lost in translation after you leave. Often times, you need a champion within an organization to help sell your company and message. Make sure your message is clear and concise enough that the “client champion” can deliver it with confidence to his peers and management to help sell internally. Create clear and concise “take aways” for your internal champion to be able to simply repeat and help you sell.
3. Build a Brand and Establish Accreditation
Ultimately, your brand is how your customer perceives and distinguishes you from your competition. What does your brand say about you? Can you message your brand effectively so a prospect understands it in a positive manner when you aren’t in the room? One way to enhance your brand in the technology field is through certifications and specializations of your staff. Our philosophy as a company over the years has been to focus on the implementation of a select few technologies, allowing our technical team to be highly competent when implementing technology. Being hyper-focused on a select set of technologies has created a “unique brand” that we use to differentiate from competition.
4. Don't Sweat the Deal Size
Whale hunting isn’t necessary to create large accounts. Focus on partnering and caring about what is best for the prospect. A small deal that allows you to get your foot in the door, establish relationships and credibility will most likely lead to bigger opportunities.