Why You Should Stop Selling Services and Start Selling Solutions

But your business isn’t growing like you want it to.

You’re doing all the right marketing stuff. You’re attending networking meetings, making connections, regularly sharing content, speaking at events — but something isn’t working.

You’re starting to feel frustrated and angry.

What more can you do?

Maybe the solution isn’t to do more. Maybe it’s as simple as changing what you’re already doing.

Why “Services” Don’t Sell

What if you stopped selling services?

No, I’m not suggesting that you give up and start a new career. Nothing that drastic.

I am suggesting that you stop selling services and start selling solutions.

I recently researched dozens of websites for a project I was working on and discovered something that surprised me.

Most entrepreneurs sell services or coaching or consulting; very few sell solutions.

This seems to be the standard for many coaching businesses. “Sell packages” seems reasonable since it takes several sessions of working with a client to produce the results they want. A package is necessary.

Here’s the rub: People don’t want services or coaching packages.

People want solutions.

And this is the key.

When you switch from marketing services to marketing solutions — the results your clients are looking for — you open the door to more business and profits. This is known as “solution-based selling.” The service or coaching package is just the means by which they get what they want and will pay for.

People Buy Benefits, Not Features

People don’t buy products and services. They buy feelings.

The most effective commercials and ads sell feelings — how you will feel when you drink the cola, eat the chocolate, or drive off in the car. Let’s face it: People don’t by cars with 12 airbags because they want airbags. They buy the car because they want safety. Airbags are only the means by which they get it.

Professional advertisers know this.

And now you do, too.

When someone wants a consultant or coach, they are experiencing a situation that feels bad. They want a solution that helps them feel better — that’s the benefit you offer.

Translate Features into Benefits Clients Will Pay For

When someone is thinking about hiring a professional, they look at many things. Cost is a major factor in their decision, but it is not the only one.

Referrals from a trusted friend or colleague carry weight as do online reviews. While all of this matters, they aren’t the bottom-line in decision making.

People decide to buy something to get benefits from it — solutions to their problems and challenges. How it gets delivered is less important.

Here are some examples:

  • “Lane-correcting cars” = feature. The benefit is greater safety when the driver’s attention wanders, or the weather is bad.
  • “Open 24 hours” = feature. The benefit is convenience.
  • “Money-back guarantee” = feature. The benefit is no financial risk if they buy.
  • “Fast-acting relief” = feature. The benefit is ending their pain and discomfort quickly.
  • “Teamwork program” = feature. The benefit is greater team synergy and productivity, which leads to less conflict and higher profits.

To apply this to selling coaching, you need to connect what you do to what your clients get from working with you — the benefit. This benefit comes from giving them something they want or relieving them of something they don’t want.

Start with the solution and link back to the service or package. Create a benefit-laden description of the benefits and solutions you offer, using verbs and nouns that resonate emotionally. For example,:

  • A career coach might use phrases like, “Get off the rollercoaster of work-life balance and gain more peace and calm. Stop feeling overwhelmed and trapped and start getting a handle on how you want your live and work to be.”
  • A relationship coach could use something like, “Tired of spending time on relationships that don’t work or even feel good? Do the wrong people keep showing up in your life? Discover what you really want in a relationship, learn how to go after it, and follow the path to your soulmate.”
  • A professional freelancer could describe a blogging package this way, “Terrified of writing anything? Don’t know where to start? Unsure of your grammar? No time? No desire to commit to a regular content production calendar? Let a professional, published writer and editor do it for you. Why spend time working in your business when you could spend that time building it?”

Grow Your Business with Solution Packages

Someone considers hiring you when they are faced with an issue they cannot solve on their own. When you are the expert that zeroes in on that issue and offers solid solutions, you have an edge over your competition.

People will be eager to work with you because they want what you can do for them. How you do it  isn’t all that important. They just want results — and they will pay to get them.

By focusing on solutions:

  • You become known as a specialist.
  • Your expertise positions you as the “go-to coach” for specific issues.
  • Marketing and selling become easier and more effective.

Rethink how you market your business; focus on marketing solutions, not packages; and see how fast you can grow your business, increase profits, and get more referrals.

Need help turning your services and coaching packages into solutions? Contact me pat@phaddock.com and mention this article in your subject line.

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