October 21, 2012

"The Attainable, Intangible Sale"

It is a product that is a service.
Can you see it? Can you touch it? How do you know it's there?

When selling a product or service that is optional for an account how do you demonstrate the the value of  "it?"

 Sales representatives will highlight features. Building industry sales professionals will have the customer envision what this product/service will bring to the customers company and help them experience the benefits. Today's blog features John Sizemore, Risk Management at 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, from Kentucky. John will utilize his product/service as the example in today's blog. John's product is mandated in only a few states so for the vast majority of the time 2-10 professionals are delivering.....

John Sizemore
"The Attainable, Intangible Sale" 
by John Sizemore, CGA, CAPS
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty 
There is a unique challenge in selling a service; yet, a very much needed commodity for businesses for several reasons. There are a few key areas that should be focused on to help make the decision for a potential customer easy; why the company offers the service, what the service can do for a potential customer’s business and how the service works. 
Why was the service created? Most service products are created for one specific type of customer, unlike mass produced tangible products that can easily tweaked and mass marketed. For example, before home warranties were developed, homeowners of newly constructed homes were having quality issues with their homes and having to fight with their builder to get repairs made. Performance guidelines needed to be put in place to protect homeowners and legal documentation was needed to protect the builder from being sued; which is what a home warranty can help do. This is the opener to the story of the product. 
What does the service do for a potential customer’s business? Efficiency is one of the greatest benefits that a service can add to a business mix. They can save a customer time instead of doing the leg work themselves and/or money from having to pay an in-house salaried employee to do it. For example, a home warranty reduces unnecessary callbacks to a builder’s warranty department. This gives the builder more time in the field and leaves the end user, the home buyer, with a peace of mind knowing that their new home investment is protected with a third party insurance-backed warranty.  Potential customers can also benefit from a service product as they offer a personalized experience and are focused on relationship building. In most cases, services assign a representative or account manager to a customer (company) who takes the time to understand and know your business. This gives the service personality and makes it more relatable. For example, instead of referencing a warranty company as 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty®, it’s referenced as John from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty.
How does the service work? The story has been built up; a need has been created for the service. This is where a run-down of the service is explained. Many service products offer tangible products as well for an added benefit, such as marketing materials to help educate consumers. In most cases, the materials help to highlight why a consumer should go with that particular company because of the added benefit of the service product. This helps put the potential customer at ease knowing they have materials they need for implementation of the service product.  To view examples of the 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty builder marketing materials visit warranty.2-10.com/member-marketing-materials
Answering the questions above can help in developing the persuasive case for the service product being sold. Whether intangible or tangible product, there is a story to be told. 

 If you have any suggestions for articles in the future, or you would like to be a guest blogger, click on my name below and contact me. Posts must somehow be relevant to our NAHB membership and not a commercial for your product or service. 

Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP  
NAHB 2nd Vice Chairman Membership Committee
Past NAHB Associate Members Committee Chairman
Past NAHB National Associate Chairman 
(click here) NAHB Advocacy - The Passion of an Industry podcast

No comments: