Every product is a service.
Whether it's a free lead magnet, a $10 book, or a $2,000 coaching program. All of your products and services actually provide a specific service to your customer. Focusing on that service makes your products easier to sell.
You may have heard the Seth Godinism that your customers don't need a hammer or nails, they want a hole in the wall. They want the hole to hang a picture of their family. But what they really need is to feel more connected with their family and loved ones.
The hammer and nails provide the service of connecting with loved ones.
But this service differs from person to person. A contractor uses a hammer to build homes. For him, the hammer, and his skill with it, is his livelihood. His pride in completing another high-quality job.
When I first moved to Seattle after college, I needed a car. I needed it to go downtown with friends. I needed it to get groceries from the store and to drive to the mountains in the winter to ski.
But what I really needed was the transportation service. I needed to be able to travel safely and quickly between points. If teleportation was a mass market service, maybe I would have gone with that. But many people, especially in the city, don't buy cars. They walk or rely on Uber to get them around. In any case, it's a transportation service.
For a Nascar driver, the car is a tool to achieve victory, to break records, to win. Same product, different service.
Apply this to the products and services that you sell.
Your book may be a physical product, but what service does it provide to your customer? What service does your course provide?
What does your customer really need?
This is a valuable exercise to uncover what the purpose of your products and services are and what motivates your client to want to purchase them. If you can position your product in the light of the service that it provides, it will be much easier to sell it.
Taken one step further, asking these questions will illuminate what services your customers need but aren't being provided.
A lot of companies are tacking on an extra monthly payment to their products in the name of "community membership" or "express support." Whatever they can do to squeeze in some continuity. They really do it to support the software development. And it makes sense to have that in place. But it's like herding cats to convince customers that they need to pay the monthly fee.
Understanding what service you are really providing gives you a real opportunity to add continuity in a way that supports the need of the customer in addition to the consistent income to maintain your software.
There is another reason why I like thinking about everything as a service. It reminds me about what my role is as the creator and leader oft his movement.
Service is one of those double meaning words that I love. Right up there with "being content with the content you create" and "finding fulfillment in the fulfillment of your products and services."
It's too easy to forget why you're really doing what you do and what your priorities are. These sayings remind me what it's all about.
Create products and services that serve the true needs of your audience.