Why Your Latest Service Idea Isn’t Selling

New Ideas
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I recently worked with a consulting firm that wanted to reach new types of clients.  They built some new service packages to target these clients, but clients weren’t biting.  They tweaked the offerings, and pitched them again, but still clients weren’t interested.  When they approached me, they had dreamt up and pitched many new ideas, but had never gotten much traction with them.

Many businesses encounter similar frustrations.  Having reached a certain level of experience with clients, they look to develop new and streamlined packages and programs to expand their client base.  Many of these efforts succeed, and many do not.  I have found one big reason behind a lot of these failures, which I’ll share with you today.

Constructing New Service Offerings

There is a moment in the growth of many small businesses where they realize that (A) there are a lot of potential clients that they still haven’t been able to sell to, and (B) they have a wide variety of expertise to offer these clients.  So they cook up a new package and use it to pursue these new clients.

For example, the consultancy I mentioned earlier had found that many prospects could not afford their standard level of service, so they developed a new “lite” package.  It included some of their popular training programs, at a more accessible price point.

Another example is a computer support company I worked with.  They noticed that their small business clients only called when there was a problem with an employee’s computer.  They wanted to provide a deeper level of service to these clients, so they designed a monthly program that included a guaranteed number of hours and some maintenance services.

The Variety Pack

Neither the consultants nor the computer technicians found much enthusiasm among potential clients.  The problem was, they had both constructed what I call a “Variety Pack.”  

A variety pack is when you take a bunch of your services, bundle them together, and then hope that clients buy it.  You’re thinking, “Wow these are great services we’re offering.”  And the clients see it and think, “We don’t need that random assortment of stuff.”   While each component is indeed valuable, the package falls flat because it doesn’t meet a coherent need for the client.

The Lunchable

LunchableIn 1985, Oscar Mayer was looking for ways to sell more lunch meats.  Instead of making new and bigger meat variety packs, they spent some time researching their ideal customers.  They realized that working mothers were pressed for time getting their kids ready for school in the morning.  And so Oscar Mayer invented the Lunchable, which combined all of the ingredients for a kid’s lunch into one box.  Sales exploded because it solved a real pain point for many moms.

When I explained this to my clients, they got some great new ideas.  The consultants realized that manufacturing was a consistent challenge for many target clients.  So they designed a new package of services to optimize manufacturing efficiency.  And the tech support company picked network security–a consistent source of anxiety for their ideal clients.  They designed a monthly program to upgrade and maintain a secure network.  Clients jumped at both of these offerings–because they solved a real frustration in a comprehensive way.

What pain point are your target clients experiencing?  THIS is the starting point for building your new program.

What is your Lunchable?


Share Your Thoughts

What challenges have you run into trying to sell new services?  What have you found successful?  What Lunchable are you going to try?  

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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