HOW TO SELL YOUR SERVICES TO OFFLINE BUSINESSES
If you hate sales and think the idea of selling your services to brick-and-mortar stores sounds unpleasant, think again. You don’t have to do any cold calling or even in-person sales to get this to work. You do have to implement some offline strategies to get offline attention. It’s not the same thing as putting up a sales page and then promoting it online. Your potential customers, after all, are all offline; that’s what causes them to be in need of your services. It means that you might have to implement some direct sales marketing in the form of an offline sales letter, and then, depending on the service you’re selling, you can do an in-person consultation or direct them to an online area.
SELLING A PACKAGE
If you’re tech-savvy and can offer a package that includes a website, some press releases, online coupons, a blog set-up, and some advertising and marketing exposure, you might be able to offer a full-service package without ever getting out of your computer chair. You will have to spend money on advertising that package in offline areas where business owners can spot it and can find out where to order it. That might be in trade magazines or local newspapers. In this model, it’s going to take a bit of upfront work and money to get your package noticed. Once it starts selling, you can devote your time to other things.
If you’re selling consulting services, odds are that you will have to do some face-to-face selling. Business owners will want to shake your hand and find out whether they can trust you. If you are going over their business processes and advising them on how to change them so that they can cut their expenses or increase their income, they might want you to visit their place of business and spend some time there. That’s all part of marketing an offline business with consulting services, but there’s another way to sell your expertise too.
You can coach people offline via online technology. All it takes is some knowledge of video or audio. Create courses and online workshops that people can download from your site and can use to help them get their offline business online. You can also set up phone coaching sessions for those who want private consultations at a higher rate. You are selling your expertise, and there is a market for that expertise. It’s just a matter of going out and bringing that market back to your products and services.
SELL THE BENEFITS
If you’re going to sell your expertise or a product to an offline business owner, you’ll want to sell the benefits first. What benefits an off-line business owner? Anything that makes his/her life easier, saves him/her money, or makes him/her money. You can also add the motivations of wanting to compete better or to expand his/her offerings. These eventually lead to making more money. It may be tempting to promote a solution before offering the benefits, but this is a mistake. These people aren’t tech-savvy for the most part and don’t have time to learn everything. Many times, they just want to pay someone else to implement the solution so that they can attend to other business matters more.
DON’T SELL A WEBSITE; SELL A WAY TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS
While some people love technology and are wooed by gizmos galore, the average business owner is much more practical. They aren’t going to plunk down money on a website if they already have one. Even if you explain that what they have is a static website, they’ll not understand the difference between that and one with dynamic content. For that reason, you’ll have to put it into business terms.
What’s the return on investment (ROI) for that site? How many customers are they attracting? Not how many visitors, but how many customers? Ask them if they know who is visiting. Do they have a way to capture email addresses? Are they doing any email campaigns or relying on people to buy from an electronic cart without promotions? There are a ton of ways that you can sell the benefits of a dynamic site: it brings in more customers and should be the start of a basic sales funnel.
DON’T SELL ONLINE COUPONS; SELL COST SAVINGS
Every time a business owner prints a coupon, there is an expense associated with that marketing effort. Printing costs can eat into an advertising budget quickly and may not have a good return on the investment. What if you told your prospective customer that you knew of a way to save him/her almost all of his/her printing costs on coupons that he/she sends out to customers and still advertises successfully? Wouldn’t he/she be interested? Of course! That’s because the benefit of saving money on printing costs is understandable versus buying online coupons. He/She may not understand how implementing online coupons can work with an offline model or how that benefits him/her directly. Thus, sell the benefit first to get him/her to understand and then show him/her how it’s done when he/she buys the package or your consulting services. If you divulge too much about how you are helping him/her before he/she buys, odds are that he’ll/she’ll shop around for the best price for that service or try to implement it without you.