I’ve been reading What Clients Love by Harry Beckwith.  Beckwith is one of the best authors on the topic of selling services.

There’s a quote that stands out in the book.  He says:

“When you buy a product, you purchase something tangible.  When you buy a service, however, you buy the people who perform it.”

A few paragraphs later he makes this observation:

“You buy products based on your feelings about the product; you choose your services based on your feelings towards the providers.”

Think about what he’s saying.  If you sell a service, how much of what you sell is based on the person who delivers the service?

If you’re loyal to a doctor, when he or she moves to a new clinic do you follow them, or remain at the old clinic with a different doctor?

The big challenge with this text is figuring out how we can connect with our clients better.  If it’s true, and they’re really buying us, then surely if we’re able to connect with them more strongly it can only enhance the relationship.

I’m a big fan of client surveys.  Ask them as often as you can about all facets of your business.  You may be surprised about the things they value the most.  In our industry (financial planning) one of the key things clients are looking for is a relationship with a planner they can trust.  How do your clients feel about you and your brand?  What elements of the sales process can you control and what tools can you use to help their feelings towards you and your staff?

Here’s a link to Harry’s book.  If you haven’t discovered Harry Beckwith yet, you need to buy his books and read and then re-read them.  You won’t be disappointed.