Selling Service

Selling is selling. No way! Compared to products, selling services has its peculiarities.

Just like the organizational development and expansion of sales activities in sales management. No wonder, products and services are different  not just because one can touch one and not the other.

“Basically, you sell a promise. And the customer trusts you for that.” This is how one of the trainers described the core of service sales during an ISS seminar.

Of course, the customer does not hold a polished product in his hand. He can not touch or try it. He does not want to buy a forklift – he wants to have pallets moved. He also does not want to buy an airplane, but wants to move his cargo intercontinentally from A to B as quickly as possible. The Swedish furniture manufacturer promises to set up the ordered furniture as an additional service at home.

Suitable Offers

For You at a Glance

Individuality and Market Segmentation

The distribution of services requires the willingness to deal with the needs of individual customers. In addition to this individuality, however, a professional market segmentation is necessary to form customer groups. That is the basis to develop the service range. This is where product management and sales management interact. Strategic sales management defines sales channels, develops an efficient sales organization and formulates unique selling propositions for attractive offers.

Complete Solutions are in Demand

In short: customers expect attractive offers for complete solutions leaving them with as little effort as possible: convenient, simple, fast and inexpensive. If the customer ‘trusts’ the seller at this point, the business is concluded.

But how do you win the customer's trust? We trust brands and people, personalities who appear credible. Most of our assessment is unconscious. And lightning-fast. This test is almost anchored in our DNA. Emotions play the pivot role, before content, argumentation and other verbally communicated aspects.

Empathy and Active Listening

Above all, empathy, body language and active listening; i.e. understanding the customer's wishes and needs and asking questions, is what counts. Questions about the organization, requirements and expectations. Questions about processes, internally and from the customer and their customers.

When sales and customers speak the same language, not only does this improve communication, it's also a prerequisite to develop the solutions both sides want. Only this way, sales can offer specific services to the customer and their individual situation – far from off-the-shelf solutions.

Flexible Support for the Customer

He who communicates successfully, builds a personal relationship with the customer. This is the basis on which trust can grow. It is the basis for a long lasting relationship, supported by appropriate service contracts.

The job of the service provider is not just a one-off shot. It is long-term and flexible. It goes beyond product life cycles. Service accompanies the customer and ensures the promised performance over many years. Service can maintain recurring business in the long run if it impresses the customer. Service sales also has an important function here, for example providing ideas for innovative solutions for the customer's process.

Added Value for Both Sides

What service sales needs is specific knowledge of the customer's business. How this knowledge is acquired is part of the sales skills that are required for a successful service business. An elaborate – but clearly defined – competence framework gives the seller the necessary decision-making ability to conduct negotiations convincingly and effectively.

More and more successful service companies rely on sales teams instead of individual sales people. These teams are consultants and service employees who flank the sales people with additional skills. Thus, service sales creates an added value for all participants, service providers and customers.