I have sold both products and services. For the most part I found selling products easier, because people can see and feel them. They’re tangible. One of the things I learned about selling services is you keep more customers if you find ways to make your intangible service more tangible.
Remember any purchase is a two-way exchange. If I write you a big check for insurance I expect something of equal or greater value in return. When all I get is a piece of paper with legal mumbo jumbo, I might be tempted to feel empty-handed or that I got the short end of the deal. On the other hand, if I have something I can see or feel or hear, it’s easier for me to see the tangible value of what I just bought.
This is an emotional response. Many of us tend to be visual and concrete, especially when spending money. We like to see and feel what we paid for. Even if the intangible thing we bought was a very smart purchase, it still helps if we have a visual reminder of where the money went.
This is true for insurance, financial businesses, professionals, advertising, non-profits, membership organizations, and even government agencies.
This is why you’ll get the big road atlas from your insurance agent. Or you might receive flowers or a gift basket from your financial planner. Certainly thank you notes are a tangible way of showing the value your customer has received.
In my business (advertising for small businesses and nonprofits) we try to add “tangibility” in a few ways. We give away coffee mugs to our customers. We offer articles and newsletters that have marketing or advertising tips. We host marketing workshops.
We try to communicate with our new customers often and frequently during the first few weeks of our new relationship. This includes a thank you note, an email describing our new ad production process, the new ad proof for their review and then a follow-up to let them know the ad will be published soon. Our process is not perfect but we have had positive feedback. So we’ll keep working at it.
Tell me, what does your company do or what might your organization do to deliver some tangible value to your intangible service? I’d like to hear about it.