Why are you selling? There’re a lot of answers to this question, and a lot of ways to get to the bottom of why you do your job.
Granted, we’re all driven by different motivations, and even within Commusoft we can differ in our approaches, but it’s our different ideas that ultimately help us to succeed toward a common goal.
It’s the same for you, too.
A diverse team is always going to be a strength because it’s only by bouncing ideas off of one another that you’re going to produce greater results, especially compared to if you go it alone.
A big part of keeping that team motivated comes from everyone knowing why you do what you do, and that’s where making sure you’re marketing yourself to your customers becomes so important, too.
So, when it comes to your customers, ask yourself the important question: why is it they should pick your services?
To talk about this topic, I’m going to take a slightly unorthodox approach and write some points from a personal perspective.
While yes: it’s true that I don’t personally run a field service business, what I am is a big fan of understanding what motivates people. It’s why I’ve worked in both Sales and Marketing roles, and it’s why I’m confident the ideas I’m sharing can be valuable, as well.
Besides, what’s the harm in a fresh perspective? It could be just what you need to reinvigorate your approach, so let’s take a look:
It sounds obvious that if you get people emotionally invested in your product, service, or agenda (“the why”) they’re bound to be more attracted to your business. What’s significant though, is when you realise just how few businesses take the lesson to heart.
That can be a concern for field services, who can sometimes come across in a “bish-bash-bosh, that’s the job: we got it done” way! However, as good as that can be, the modern consumer is also driven by more emotional investment and in particular, in experiences that make them feel valued.
“Why are you selling?” can be a difficult question to answer, and that’s true whether it’s personal to you, or the one you envision for your company. It’s easy for this to sound a little cheesy, but think about it like this: slogans represent a company ethos’, and even brand names carry an identity that triggers responses.
“Just do it”– Nike.
“I’m lovin’ it” – McDonalds.
“Think different”– Apple.
These are their mission statements and they engage their audiences in a variety of ways, even though in reality, the products are simple, whether it’s trainers, burgers, or good computers.
The reality is that the slogans are a big part of what builds their brand loyalty; they help to create trust, and keep customers coming back, and it’s not just because their products are great (or satisfy impulses). The point is that they make customers feel good, and that’s impactful in its own way.
So, what does all this mean for your field service business?
Well, in short: if you’re not marketing yourself well, it’s going to come back to hurt you.
I’m not saying you need something as dramatic as the brands above, but hooking your customers on a feeling is going to have an impact and it’s a big part of why customer journeys, more than just experience, are so very important to how you achieve this.
2. Keep “how” as simple as possible.
As someone who’s worked in Customer Service, Sales, and now as a Content Marketer, I’ve had a jumble of experiences that have been incredibly informative, giving me different perspectives on what motivates individuals to do what they do.
I’ve also (of course) been sold to, bought into ideas, and experienced these things as a consumer, just like you. It’s the lessons I take away from these experiences that I find so compelling. They help drive my own choices and affect the work I do (and the work you read here) as a result.
How you do what you do is very practical and it doesn’t need to evoke some mystical, magical, strange concept. There’s a time and a place for being ostentatious, but being straightforward is important too, particularly as you try to motivate yourself, your staff, and to win over your customers.
In all cases, simplicity is essential.
Whether it’s getting to grips with an idea, making a purchase, or getting information, the more straightforward an idea is presented, the more likely you are to engage someone’s attention.
Customer journeys, for instance, don’t have to be life-changing, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. It’s about reducing friction, as you can see in the graphic below.
For your business, it’s about presenting your services and how your customers access them, in as easy and honest a way as possible.
It may surprise you how compelling that can be to them.
3. Learn to be creatively compelling when you are selling.
What you’re selling is important. Is it a feeling? Are you selling the customer on a dream, or leading them on with the promise of what could be?
Of course, if you take it very literally, you’re not actually doing those things: your job is probably to install, fix, clean, or physically repair something. Either way, it should be obvious to your customer: “we clean windows”, “we’ll fix your roof”, “we install central heating”.
That said, for me “I write articles for field service businesses”. Of course, it’s also my job to get a bit more creative than that, and tell a story. I am a firm believer that it’s stories that can help you to build relationships, attract customers and, coincidentally, also help you sell.
Much like my job, if you were just direct all the time, it’d make for very dry reading, even if it would technically be true, but it also wouldn’t attract many customers.
Let’s consider two examples:
One job advert could read:
“At Blank Heating, we install boilers to help warm your home.”
It’s true, but it’s not exciting, is it? That’s because you’re not giving customers new information.
Alternatively, an advert could say:
“At Blank Heating we believe in comfort, and so does our team of dedicated installers. Together, we’re determined to keep your family warm, dry, & safe this winter: contact us today to learn how we can help!”
The latter packs way more of an emotional punch. Would you rather buy from the one that’s simply transactional, or the company who’s promising to help you out?
For your business, it’s the same when it comes to your customers and how you try to impact them through your work. This comes largely from first selling them on the “why” we mentioned before, rather than on the price or other features of the service itself.
To use a personal example from my old sales job, a sale never felt like my priority, at least not in the typical sense. I remember saying something of that effect to my team leader and she looked at me like I’d just insulted her nan! Granted, I get why, but what I’d meant was that while a sale is a great result, I preferred to know it was made for the right reasons, because the customer believed in the product, not because I pushed them to hit my own KPIs and make some money.
It’s about knowing what I did was genuinely benefitting someone.
I’m not saying prices can’t help (“That’s Asda price!”) but that shouldn’t always be the main driving factor for every business and even if it is, you should still want your customers to:
See value in what you do.
Believe they’re going to get a quality service.
Feel confident in the result you’ve promised.
Those points just happen to come at a price that, but as a result of your winning marketing, customers will see it as: “Oh, you’re going to do all of that for me and you’ve got my best interests at heart? Sure: here’s my money!”
Because it’s clear you’re motivated to take customers on world-class journeys!
4. Honest(ly amazing) Customer Journeys.
No matter what you’re selling, it’s my belief that the best way to get results is through being honest.
Granted, a punchy headline or a snazzy graphic gets their attention, but if the people you’re selling to find something disingenuous went on behind the scenes, or that they were misled, they won’t be happy about it. Not only are you going to lose their business, but your reputation will suffer, especially if you continue to fail on your promises, too.
Some people may lap it up, but if you buy a product to discover it breaks incredibly quickly, you’re going to be (at the very least) annoyed, or even downright angry, especially if it’s something important in your home or place of business.
Customer journeys are a great way of setting expectations because, as a business, you’re breaking down the overall experience so that you can optimise and improve every step (big or small). It’s because of how these steps are broken down, that they all build up to influence and impact the customer experience along the way.
As a result, you’ll create clear paths for customers to follow and that means they’re far more likely to have a positive experience that wins you their business time and time again.
Why are you selling? The Takeaway:
Rather than talk about a specific feature or a process, I wanted to highlight something about our mindset, and I think that can sometimes be tricky to put into words.
Whatever approach you take, there are no doubt going to be differences, but the idea is to motivate your own thoughts and help you focus on what you want to achieve in the work you do.
That’s whether you’re an individual going out to work with your customers, or the manager overseeing your employees.
I suppose what I want to achieve this post is quite personal, really.
I think it’s safe to say I took those writing to “entertain, argue, persuade, and advise” lessons to heart back in English Language classes at school, because it made me want to turn writing into a career (and here I am), but it also made me interested in people because it’s people who we should always keep in mind as we define why we do what we do.
Whether it’s digitally or in real-life, what you do and especially why you do it has an effect beyond the financial results that inevitably motivate your business.
So when I ask, “Why are you selling?” really consider what it is that’s motivating you and your team.
And know that to truly succeed, there’s a human part that can drive you and your customers.
It all just happens to start with asking: why?
Hi! I'm Rhys Pattimore
I'm eager to share great stories, advice, and tips that can help inspire and motivate field service businesses to find success. It's that, or I'm hunting down the best bagel recipe I can get my hands on!