Is your business being overtaken by service providers?
Friday 1 January 2021
Products have made your business successful. Services were always a derivative of that. Or worse, a necessary evil. Yet that service determines your long-term success. Because the world is changing and you are overtaken left and right by start-ups in your own field.
Start-ups eat the bread, because they successfully market service subscriptions, without any legacy and without their own products. How do they do that?
The trick of start-ups is their idea of services. Their mindset makes it possible to play a dominant role in your sector. While you hold the gold: your knowledge and experience with your products. So you can do better. How does that mindset work?
An entrepreneur who had grumbled to me about those start-ups played tennis well. I once played a game with him and complimented him on his hard-hitting service: "Thanks to your powerful service, you dominate the rally and you keep winning."
He was beaming.
"But if your service is so important to the game, why don't you do that in your company until after the game has already been played?"
Then he looked at me glassily, "What do you mean?"
"You provide your services after the transaction, as a closing item in your quotation, or sometimes even as a give away to close the deal!"
"But how could it be otherwise?"
"The way you were successful in the past no longer works in today's service economy. You need a different mindset to convert the opportunities of the service economy into cash for your business as well. Start completely blank with the end user and his experience in the back of your mind. "
"How?" He demanded.
Your customer's business
"What's the first thing you do before you play tennis?" I asked.
"Take a moment to get warm."
"And what do you do during that anticipation? "
"I always watch my opponent play, so I know exactly where my chances are."
"So translated into your business, you see your customer's business from his / her eyes! So just as you analyze your opponent for a game of tennis, you could also analyze your customer and his market before offering anything. If you have an idea of the pain points and latent needs of your customer, you can offer a product with services that have the same weight, for example a maintenance contract. With that you will exceed his expectations and you will play a game with an infinite revenue model. A game in which you both win. "
Everyone can hit a ball, but hitting a good service with the right speed, direction and effect requires focus and attention. So do you want to do something with services in your business? Then realize that services is a different game that requires focus and attention from you.
Now you know your customers and your products like no other, which gives you an advantage over any start-up. A first step can be to visit your top 5 customers and ask them to guide you through their processes, ambitions, daily pain points and expectations. This gives you insight into where you can best use your services and your first service is immediately hit!
Do you also want to know if services can work for your business?
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