How to Market Business Consulting Services through Packaging


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Everyone is getting into consulting lately, but it isn't the easiest way to make living. Finding a tight niche and creating packages that customers can easily understand and purchase not only helps you sell, but it makes it a lot easier to deliver and get paid. This presentation explains why packaging is essential and 3 ways to approach the packaging of business services.

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How to Market Business Consulting Services through Packaging

  1. 1. How to Package Consulting Services Reasons Why You Should14
  2. 2. Selling a Service is Not Like Selling Vacuum Cleaners
  3. 3. Services are Different Intangible Can’t see, touch or try Local customer base (typically) High involvement: complex, costly, purchased infrequently Perishable Customer is often “present”
  4. 4. THE IRONY IS... You Need to Turn Your Service into a Product KNOW DO
  5. 5. Why? avoid selling hours saves time writing proposals consistent delivery reduces scope creep easier to explain easy to sell capture position in customers + referrers minds efficiency = bigger margins easier to train lower cost people “tangible” attributes + benefits People like neat and tidy solutions: kits, systems, turnkey greater perceived value everyone on same page easy to buy; simpler decision
  6. 6. When the product is right, you don’t have to be a great marketer Lee Iacocca promoter
  8. 8. Core Competency What are your best skills, strengths, business approach? Secret sauce? How you do what you do. Competitive Position How are you perceived? What are you known for? Cognitive Brand Brand promise, values, personality, emotional connection Creative Risks Express yourself, be memorable Substance
  9. 9. Direct Substitutes Differentiation Similar services What prospects might do or purchase instead Why you? Competition: Where do you fit? Seattle Wedding Photographers No pictures at all Have a family member act as photographer Ask guests to take pictures Likely or Unlikely? Why? Awareness Specialty Portfolio/Website Credibility: Experience, Education,Awards, Press Referral (live/social) Packages & Price AddedValue Services More exclusive = fewer competitors
  10. 10. Ways to Differentiate Photo: Market Niche Competitive Opportunities Guarantee (so strong that no one else in your industry would dream of doing it. Scary!) Resolve Fear, Universal Belief (painless dentistry, neatest remodeling contractor) Package an Outcome Unique or Trendy (sustainable?) Messaging Do the Unexpected (financial planner details your car when during annual review) An Offer They Can’t Refuse (tax prep clients get fee back with referrals) “100% refund tax guys”
  11. 11. Packaging Stages Standardize Productize Reorganize
  12. 12. Packaging Principles 1. Focus on outcomes, results, deliverables. 2. Document the value proposition. 3. Use flat or fixed prices for the primary package; use “accessories” or “add-ons” to manage variables. 4. Constrain the timeline. Be crystal clear which activities occur during the engagement. Identify key milestones with deliverables. 5. Specify what you expect from the customer; who will participate, types of activities, time required. 6. Build supporting documentation: checklists, delivery guides, sample reports. Helps customer see that you have real intellectual property baked into the offering.
  13. 13. Fill the Shelf No frills Serve several people at once (i.e., classes) Virtual product: digital, downloadable Low Point of the Arrow: Accessible entry point for new business Super-premium Increasing quality Personalize “Customization” What happens next? High Upsell Your Offer Need
  14. 14. Standardize Turn existing activities, knowledge and materials into procedures and processes. Supported by tools, deliverables and documents: data-gathering forms, guides, checklists, etc.
  15. 15. 2008 2014
  16. 16. Productize Turn an idea, process, prototype or expertise into a marketable and salable product Limited customization Volume sale Isn’t as easy as it sounds; you’ll need an audience first
  17. 17. Increasing Levels of Sophistication Straight Consulting Packaging Workshops Online Courses Digital Creations Infoproducts Membership Programs Apps
  18. 18. TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP If you can think of it, someone’s probably created it. If not, maybe you should.
  19. 19. Reorganize Apply capabilities in response to market changes or trends
  20. 20. How to Reorganize 1. What are market trends important to your industry, market or customers? 2. What research do you need to do? Where will you find it? 3. What opportunities have arisen? New problems/needs. 4. Map capabilities to solving those new problems or addressing those new needs. Political Economic Regulatory Technological Social Industry
  21. 21. REORGANIZED marketing + audio capabilities + need for content =
  22. 22. Package Development Process Ideas & Development Assess Potential Outline steps to delivery Box It Up Go to Market
  23. 23. Ideas & Development Brainstorm the different ways you provide services (mind map) Look for patterns on how you spend your time and share your expertise What questions do you get asked over and over again? What do you want to be known for? What do you enjoy? Look for trends in past 18 months of business Break it down into 3-5 categories Develop use cases and case studies for each category What materials or assets have you already created that can be repurposed? Research current clients and engagements: solicit stories, ask what’s working, challenges encountered, gather anecdotes, etc.
  24. 24. Assess Potential Which ideas hold the most potential for productization? Determine which of your services are repeatable, predictable and scalable Financial review of services so any trends or possible groupings can be developed. Develop preliminary productization matrix with the most promising products identified. What can given to less skilled / costly personnel? Partners?
  25. 25. Outline Steps to Delivery Think about how you naturally deliver the service Write the steps in a logical sequence Look for redundancies; find efficiencies What can be automated? Technology?
  26. 26. Example Outlines Life Coach Business Strategist Financial Planner Self Discover Action Planning Try It Out Internalize Ongoing Support SWOT Resource and Risk Threshold Action Plan Current Position Future Goals Risk Assessment Recommendations Portfolio Creation Tracking
  27. 27. Box It Up Create levels or packages within categories Develop flat-fee pricing for each Give packages names: descriptive, benefit- oriented, branded Collateralize: presentation, tools, spreadsheet, ebook, guidelines, checklists, workbook, video/audio presentation. What is easy to deliver and easy to maintain? What do customers want to use?
  28. 28. Go to Market Get early feedback from existing clients Track responses/adjust offerings Write new case studies; messaging Develop website and marketing materials Do post mortems at the end of each project to capture lessons learned Continually improve by gathering feedback
  29. 29. Thanks for Viewing Please post a comment or shoot me an email if you would be interested in this topic as an online self-study course. There would be a low fee. If you’re interested in seeing the second half of this presentation about promoting consulting businesses, let me know that too. © copyright Block Media LLC 2014.Trademarks and images are all owned by their respective owners.