TL;DR A productized service is a method of selling deliverables/results that typically require human labor that removes Time For Money from the value proposition. It doesn’t matter to you or the client how much time went into the creation of the deliverable or results.
Long before I knew it was a thing, I started packaging my services to make the selling process easier.
Back around 2006 I got into infoproducts (helping some how-to-make-money guys sell how to make money courses).
That’s when I realized that I could do both with my clients. If I repackaged my knowledge and experience I could sell them training products, do workshops/staff training, and get them to pay me based on deliverables.
Packaging Vs Productizing
There is a slight difference between a package and a productized service and that difference is in the implied time. Packages, which are useful sales tools (prospect chooses between you, you or you), imply additional time when applied to a service. Productizing does not imply any amount of time — the emphasis is on the deliverable or result.
One version of this that I thought was done well was by a carpet cleaning company. They had 3 packages: 1. basic carpet cleaning, 2. carpet cleaning with stain resistance treatment, and 3. carpet cleaning, stain resistance treatment and carpet drying.
Each package did include a bit more work than the lower package, but the focus was on the product that prevents staining and renting the fans that dried the carpet. The added labor was minimal, but the perceived value by including physical products into the mix was much higher for the customer.
To see how and where to productize your service let’s define the levels of consulting.
The 3 Levels Of Consulting
There are essentially 3 levels of a service:
1. Your company does the work for the client.
2. Your company shows the client how to do the work.
3. Your company provides the resources for the client to learn how to do the work.
You can sell products that clients can use such as a video course on how to do content marketing or social media, etc.
You can create a workshop or training method and have the client (and staff) come to your office or you go to theirs and teach them how to integrate content marketing or social media, etc into their business. The team will then be trained on how to do the work in-house. This can include manuals and videos and such to support them after you’ve gone.
You can do the work for them. This could mean doing it once — they needed code written, you did it and now you’re done. It could be recurring — once a month you audit their bookkeeping and give them a report on their financial key performance indicators with recommendations. It could be open-ended — maintaining their social media accounts and being the author of their tweets and facebook posts.
Now let’s put all this together…
The Product/Service Mix
I’ll use Marketing Consultant For Plumbers as the example.
- The Playbook: client goes through a questionnaire, has a strategy session(s) with you and then receives a customized guide on what the company is doing right, what needs optimization and what needs overhauled. (The guide is actually semi-customized as all plumbers have basically the same problems.)
- Online lead generation system (includes copywriting, website, landing pages, split testing etc): sold in different pricing tiers.
- Sales training for staff who answer phones and plumbers to help upsell and cross-sell products and services.
- Membership site for plumbers to learn marketing skills and talk with other plumbers about what is and isn’t working for them.
- Marketing In A Box: multimedia course on how to profitably grow a plumbing company.
- Special reports (ebooks): how to generate leads from facebook/twitter/pinterest/etc. How to get 10x return on PPC campaigns. And on and on.
- Annual bootcamp for plumbers to get marketing and business training.
- High-end group coaching for plumbers.
- Monthly newsletter (or research quarterly): all the latest tools, techniques and tactics for growing a plumbing company.
Some of these are products and the others are productized services. Each informs the other. As you do client projects, you’ll learn what is working and not working in the industry. This is valuable information and experience. You can package it in many different ways and your market will pay for it. Also, you get the added benefit of the products being a great qualifier for your services.
1. List your each of your services
2. Then list a productized version and a product version of those services.
3. Bonus: what steps do you need to take to turn your services into a productized version and a product version?