How to Sell Design Services Like Products
A big hello to you all! I’m Lauren, Account Services Manager (a.k.a. ‘sales girl’) here at Go Media. I’m thrilled to be connected with such an amazing community and look forward to sharing my contributions.
Moving from a Customer Service to a Product Oriented Service Firm
Out of a desire for company growth and expansion, Go Media has recently shifted to a product-based system of selling design services. What does switching from being a custom service firm to a product oriented service firm look like?
1. Narrow your service offerings so you only do a few key things, but do them better than anyone else!
2. Build production processes around those few key offerings so they can be taught easily. The goal is to refine your process to the point that even a mediocre designer will achieve spectacular results when following your process.
3. Build strong marketing around those key items, following steps from the likes of Roxanne Carah Marante. Create sell sheets, e-newsletters campaigns, POS pages and the like that effectively communicate the process, benefits, and value!
4. Build templatized proposals around those services so you spend less time writing and more time selling. Writing custom proposals for custom services can take a long time, not to mention that they often require the specialized or expertise knowledge of a few select employees.
The designing itself is still custom, but everything around the designing itself is extremely structured! For all of you artists out there who own a business or freelance, there are some HUGE benefits to selling your design service offerings like products. Benefits include:
Selling a project that has such a clear definition is significantly easier to sell! The sales team can easily walk a client through the branding process. Proposals can get churned out faster and negotiating is objective. Having clearly defined products streamlines our internal processes and ensure that our entire team, from sales to project management to production, is on the same page from start to finish.
Teaching your process and offerings to employees becomes seamless! They learn easier and FASTER. Specific to a sales team, instead of needing the expertise of one or two people in order to write a proposal and land a project, sales people can work more independently while the creative team focuses on production! For the entrepreneurs out there, having a product-based business model means that your business can thrive without you if you have a sales team that knows the process and products like the back of their hand!
Teaching your client about what’s being offered is just as paramount and also becomes effortless! Point of sale and marketing pieces can easily be created, outlining all of the features and benefits clearly and concisely. While it’s essential that you and your sales team have this knowledge, stand-alone marketing pieces that will effectively delineate and communicate your value to the audience is hugely beneficial!
As mentioned in #1, a well-defined system with outlined deliverables from the onset of the sales process helps to keep customer expectations in line. The client knows what to expect at each stage throughout. Specific to Go Identity mentioned above, the steps, deliverable(s), and amount of revisions are clearly defined from the onset, leaving no gray area, or unrealistic expectations, as to what is being delivered.
The design service industry is easily susceptible to earning little to no profit margins based on amount of hours worked versus the cost of the project. Having a standardized process and selling defined products at strategic price points helps to ensure that projects stay on scope. Selling services like products help to avoid the common ‘blackhole’ of the sometimes never-ending revision, feedback, revision, feedback cycle.
Moving from a custom-oriented service firm to a product-based firm has benefited Go Media in numerous ways. Share your experiences with us below!