I’ve been receiving a lot of questions from people wanting to know how to sell a service–or are thinking about selling a service–over the web, asking what you need to do differently than those people selling products.
“To be truly effective at selling your services directly online you have to package your service into purchasable packages.”
And just to clarify I’m talking about making actual service sales online not just advertising them AND a key work here is “DIRECTLY” meaning you are getting the customers money immediately and performing the service later. Much like a product seller who receives the money before they ship their products.
This is a great question because the majority of the service industry is used to advertising services online but not selling them direct but it is actually very easy to do. Here are the main points of consideration:
1. Package your Services
To be truly effective at selling your services direct online you have to package your service into “purchasable service packages”.
As an example of how a service based business can repackage their services I will use a pressure washing company that typically charges $25.00 an hour to do their service. When it comes to making “direct sales online” this company needs to repackage the service into “purchasable service packages” something like this:
$140 Small House (up to 1500 sq ft)
$200 Medium House (up to 3000 sq ft)
$250 Large House (up to 4500 sq ft)
Now this pressure washing company may encounter some houses that take more or less time than other houses but if they have priced their packages appropriately the should average out to a similar hourly wage.
the bottom line
…on some jobs this small business owner may be working for less than their usual hourly rate but at least they are working and not sitting around doing nothing.
2. Vouchers and Gift Certificates
When you are selling services directly online what you are providing your customer is a voucher (basically a receipt) to redeem for your services. Vouchers work basically like online gift cards, without all the fuss of actually offering plastic credit-card-like gift cards. This is where you get a huge leg up on product sellers because vouchers do not need storage space, throwing out stock because of expiry dates, or shipping costs!
…the bottom line
…this is like an advance payday since you receive the money before you perform the service.
3. Marketing Online
And finally now that you have repackaged your services so that they can be purchased online you need to make them available online and market them.
One of the digital marketing failures I see time and time again is a local business posting a promotion on Facebook but not allowing the customer to “buy now”. The sales rate from digital promotions that require the customer to private message, phone in, or visit the store are quite low.
To be truly effective you need to provide a “buy now” button that the newly inspired customer can tack immediate action on before they are distracted by the next thing that captures their attention.
…the bottom line
Now that you have an online listing for your services you need to leverage and market it online where is it designed to be the most effective. Posting the URL of your online listing can now be shared on social media and multiply your exposure and ability to make service sales online.
About the author
Craig Hanson is a serial entrepreneur and CEO and Co-founder of ThrivingLocally.com.
Through his passion and admiration for the local small business owner he strives to provide the local entrepreneur with tools and advice in order to be successful so that they can achieve their business dreams.
“It’s not about making a million bucks….it’s about making a life worth living”