I’m moving to Wichita, Kansas and one of the first things I had to do before I moved over there was buy a car.
To do that I googled around for about a week, trying to find prices online for cars (which proved to be very difficult). Eventually I bought from CarMax, because they have like an Amazon-style set up where you can buy a car right there.
B2B purchases are going the exact same way. Think about the last time you bought a tool; normally in the process you identify a need, like maybe a new lead generation tool, then you go over to google and type “lead generation”, click a few of those tools and reach out to as many as you want.
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Or, you just read into the pages, and for some software service tools, even sign up right there without talking to a single person. That’s the way I think it’s going to go for almost all styles of business, meaning that you’re going to win in the service business with a product-type service.
A product-type service means that a customer is able to go to your website, quickly see the type of services you’re offering, pick something without talking to anyone and sign up on the spot.
What can you do right now to get ahead of this curve? Read on
How can you package your service as a productized service? If it’s content marketing, maybe that means saying 8 articles for 2000$ and having that on the site with a “Buy Now” button.
For mobile app development, it might mean having a two-week sprint of work there with said “Buy Now” button. Maybe a one-day discovery process that people can buy with a price printed right there, without them doing anything.
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Taking that to the next level, if people are buying from all around the world, how are you supposed to meet in person?
The traditional agency business model is all about face to face communication; you have somebody come in into your office, you smooth them up offering something to drink and sell them your product in person.
Well, the way that I’ve seen it go is video calls are about to take over. San Francisco startups are already far ahead of the game, hiring the best of the world regardless of where they live. If you check out Buffer’s blog you’ll see a very good breakdown of how that looks.
This is the way is going both for sales and for hiring. Our entire team at Experiment 27 is remote, which means me and the team can live and work anywhere, as long as we hit our key performance indicators and we get our work done on time.
I’ve also seen on sales that meeting with people face-to-face vs meeting with them in their office has no effect on the close rate. This means I’m able to hold the exact same close rates when I was walking into people’s offices for an in-person meeting, shaking their hands, as I still have over a skype call and then moving on directly to email and text.
Once the industry finds out that is a lot cheaper to hire salespeople outside of your metropolitan area and do all of your meetings over skype, the entire industry will quickly change.
If I were you, the way to get ahead of that is to stop having clients in your office and start getting comfortable talking to a camera and selling over video chat.
The last one I want to cover is software will get cheap and the real money will be on new ideas.
Coding is already getting cheaper by the day; there are incredibly smart coders in Romania, South America, Poland and all around the world, that are rivaling the developers and the coding talent in the US.
While the quality of code has gone up considerably overseas, the prices are staying about the same. There are some very solid Indian mobile app developing firms whose quality rivals the American ones that are still only charging 25$ an hour or less, same with South America.
I think this is going to keep evolving for everything on the production side; the only place you’re going to have an advantage as a salesperson is with your ideas.
Anyone can do an “SEO audit” by plugging a domain name into a google search, but a true SEO salesman, will provide strategy, recommendations and might even pitch a completely different strategy than what everyone else recommends; That’s where you’re going to be able to differentiate yourself.
I think that if productized services spread through the whole industry, it will make everyone a lot more price-focused, which will bring prices down, and the only way to maintain a premium rate will be becoming that confident to clients, where they trust you to tell them the right things.
One moto that I’ve lived by for the last two years, is to ask to myself before a client meeting what would you recommend if the client was your friend?
What that means is being true to your word, and only tell your clients that something is going be valuable to them if you 100% believe it, like you would to a best friend, knowing that even if you fail, they still are going to be there for you.
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