Should you start selling your services as products? The benefits (and disadvantages) of productisation

Should you start selling your services as products? The benefits (and disadvantages) of productisation

Simply put, productisation is a way of packaging up your service with a set price. Rather than charging by the hour or by project, selling all (or part of) your service as a product can help you scale your business pretty quickly - without putting a strain on you or your employees.

If you’ve been looking for a way to grow your business without sacrificing more of your precious time, productisation could be the way to go. But, with anything you do in business (and in life), there are going to be some trade-offs. In this article, we’re going to dive into the benefits and drawbacks of productization, so that you can be sure you’re making the right decision for your business.

Treating your services as products makes them easier to sell.

Packaging up some of your services as a product means you can stop trading your time for money, and turns your clients into customers. It reduces the amount of time you need to spend hand-holding, so you can focus more on the product rather than the delivery of said product. Your clients become less dependent on you, and because of the reproducibility of what you’re selling, it’s an excellent strategy for rapid growth.

Laura Roeder started off doing one-to-one social media marketing consulting. After a few years, she built MeetEdgar - a social media automation tool - to provide software-as-a-service, billing customers monthly or annually. In just over a year, they were generating $150,000 in monthly revenue from almost 3,000 paying users. Switching the business model to offer the service as a product meant they were able to scale successfully, in a huge way.

Productisation takes time and resources to get off the ground and work properly.

If you’re going to sell your service as a product, you need to know what you’re selling. That might sound silly - of course, you know what you’re selling - but you’d be surprised at how difficult it can be to package a service that you’ve been selling for years in a different way. To be able to communicate what you’re selling in a way that your customers won’t be able to resist, you have to know what makes it valuable to them. Dedicate time and resources to understanding why your clients come to you in the first place and the best way to communicate the value of your products to these people.

The whole point of productization is to make scaling easy, so be clear about what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to. You risk being pushed for a time-for-money situation if the customer can’t see the value of what they’re buying outright. Thankfully, putting time towards understanding these things will make it so much easier to price, saving you time long-term.

One simple, yet effective, way to sell your service as a product is to zero in on one clear benefit. Even though your service likely offers a whole bunch of benefits, focusing on just one of those in your messaging will make it easier to sell to the right people. Take, for example, an app that offers guided meditation, breathwork exercises, and yoga tutorials vs. an app that only offers guided meditation. Which one of those apps do you think people are more likely to gravitate towards if they’re looking to learn how to meditate? They’ll choose the latter because having just one focus implies expertise - they must know a lot about meditation to have a whole app dedicated to it.

Productisation as a gateway to the bigger-ticket items.

Sure, productisation will require some automation and less hand-holding. But it doesn’t mean giving up entirely on customised services. It leaves room for you to do more of the work you really love, with the people who are going to bring you the most money. You can use it as one of the rungs on the way to the top of your sales ladder, where the bigger-ticket items are. It could potentially mean that fewer people make it higher up your ladder than before, but it’s much more likely that the leads that do make it up to the top are qualified and more likely to spend money on your bigger items because they’ve already spent money on the smaller ones and decided to stick around. To put it crassly, you can use productisation to trim the fat off of your lead pool before they get too close to the finish line, leaving you more time with the people who are more likely to convert.

Key takeaways

If you’re going to take away anything from this article, let it be this: productisation can be a great way to make more money by doing less… eventually. It won’t happen overnight - you need to dedicate some real thinking time to working out what you’re going to offer to who, and how you’re going to package it all. There may be growing pains but, ultimately, it could be a very lucrative rung on the way up to the top of your sales ladder.

We can help you build your sales ladder, enabling your clients to understand how you solve their problems and what to buy from you more clearly. Click here to find out how we do it.

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