Selling a service may be one of the hardest sales to make. How does someone decide to pay for something they can’t see? Our clients have to trust us. They can see what we’ve done for others but will never see the product they have paid for until weeks or months after they have paid for it. So how do we do well them on making an equally emotional and financial decision? Trial and error works, but those lessons are expensive. However, reaching out to mentors and learning from those who have come before us is a brilliant investment. Here are three books that will help you sell your service to your ideal clients.
1. “Selling the Invisible” by Harry Beckwith
Everything you need to know about service marketing, this book written in 2012 sheds light on how to market your invisible product. What is the difference between price and value? What emotions most affect your clients’ decisions? Is expertise overrated? These are just a few of the questions Beckwith answers in Selling the Invisible.
“‘Selling the Invisible’ is a succinct and often entertaining look at the unique characteristics of services and their prospects, and how any service, from a home-based consultancy to a multinational brokerage, can turn more prospects into clients and keep them. ‘Selling the Invisible’ covers service marketing from start to finish. Filled with wonderful insights and written in a roll-up-your-sleeves, jargon-free, accessible style, such as:
- Greatness May Get You Nowhere
- Focus Groups Don’ts
- The More You Say, the Less People Hear
- Seeing the Forest Around the Falling Trees”
2. “This Is Marketing” by Seth Godin
This instant New York Times Best Seller is the marketing bible written by the modern marketing guru. How can your marketing actually change people and the way they think through stories and connections? Why is marketing to everyone a big mistake? What problem does your client need solved, and what change do they seek? Godin outlines the psyche of marketing with an unprecedented understanding of the modern client. This Is Marketing will also help you understand who your target client is. Thinking, “People like us do things like this,” is one example of Godin’s ideas that will change your approach to marketing.
Book synopsis: “Great marketers don’t use consumers to solve their company’s problem; they use marketing to solve other people’s problems. Their tactics rely on empathy, connection, and emotional labor instead of attention-stealing ads and spammy email funnels.”
3. “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller
This may be an unexpected choice, but selling a high-end service is about more than just closing a sale. Bringing in your ideal means speaking directly to your client. Donald Miller, another New York Times Best Selling author, shares how to create a brand that tells a story in order to draw your client in through proper messaging. “Building a StoryBrand” also delves into the psychology of the purchase. Understanding the real reasons your target client decides to buy allows you to create the story that speaks to your brand and connects to your client.
Book synopsis: “Whether you are the marketing director of a multibillion-dollar company, the owner of a small business, a politician running for office, or the lead singer of a rock band, ‘Building a StoryBrand’ will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.”
As creatives, we often put the art of our craft ahead of the art of business, but they are equally important. As you continue to move deeper into luxury clientele, it will become more and more critical that every aspect of your business is taken care of. Client experience, a curated online store-front, and sales communication are all integral parts of business. I encourage us all to never stop learning and growing in all aspects of business and life.