I’ve been studying business, marketing and sales for my entire life. I’ve boiled almost everything I’ve ever learned about business into one statement:
You don’t sell products, you don’t sell services, you sell TIME.
As we’ve worked with more and more local businesses, I’ve learned that the value proposition that almost every business has in common is that they sell TIME…. and so does the Apple Watch.
Obviously the Apply Watch tells the TIME… but why would you spend $400 for a clock?
You wear an Apple Watch to save you time.
The Apple Watch delivers content to your wrist, which is conveniently located at the end of your arm, quickly and efficiently. You can decide which crucial information that it pushes to you, unlike your phone which tells you every time you get a new offer from Zulily or Pinterest. In fact, it saves you the time of reaching into your pocket, dialing in your passcode and opening up the app. Plus, you can order Chipotle on it.
You own a CAR to save you time. You could walk to each of your daily destinations, but the car, or a bike, or public transportation will get you there faster.
You pick up fast food, because it saves you TIME (it doesn’t always increase your quality of life though).
What does this look like for the service industry? How do we apply it to the businesses and services we sell?
Let’s say I have a leaky faucet. I could search through Google and YouTube to learn how to fix my particular sink. I could even go to Lowes or Home Depot and ask. I could learn to fix it by trial and error (my favorite way to do projects around the house), which might result in a very expensive and time consuming project. Or…. I could call a plumber. The plumber doesn’t have any ability I couldn’t learn myself, but they have replaced 10,000 bathroom sinks and can do it in 1/200 of the TIME I could. While it might cost $175 for them to fix it and $25 for me to fix it, as a consumer I’m deciding that $150 is fair and reasonable to have an expert do the job well (and to save my TIME).
How many of you pay for a lawn service to either fertilize or mow (or both) your lawn? Is it because you didn’t realize that they sell fertilizer at Home Depot? Or is it because $300/year is less than your time is worth to let an expert do it. You come home from work and it’s… done.
Something to consider is that it’s not always about time. If I had to snake my drain out all the way to the street, I would call a plumber because they have the TOOLS and the TALENT to complete the job. It wouldn’t make sense for me to buy a $50,000 snake in order to do a job that a plumber would charge me $500 to do.
At ISC Media Group, we try to offer a service that utilizes our time, talent and tools. We step in and run campaigns for local businesses that allow the business owners to do what they’re passionate and talented at doing. Just as we expect the professionals we work with to be at the top of their game so we can actively promote them, they expect us to be at the top of our game and ultimately be crazy-clever with our marketing strategy.
So, as you’re building your marketing, think about selling it from the aspect of saving your customer’s time. Why do we fly instead of drive? Time. Why do we have a DVR to tape our favorite shows? So we can watch TV (and fast forward through the commercials) on our TIME.
Sell Time. Show your clients that they could do it themselves, but it will ultimately cost them their most valuable resource…. time. Then price your product or service accordingly to make it worth YOUR time.