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Selling a good or service online can be tough sometimes. Partner with us to create a buy-sell webpage for you and increase the net profits as well as the market share.
There are a number of key differences between the buying and selling of a tangible good and that of a professional advisory service. Perhaps the most obvious of these is that with a tangible good you have the actual product to evaluate, not just the person to whom you are talking. There is a mystique involved in evaluating a service that does not apply in buying a typical product. Also, in negotiating the purchase of a service the buyer often feels as though he is putting his fate in the seller’s hands.
In addition, whereas buying a good usually involves choosing from a finite number of alternatives within a well-defined category, purchasing a service is often critically dependent on which category of service is chosen. For example, should a company that feels its image is becoming “old-fashioned” hire a public relations firm to spruce up the image, a designer to modify the company logo, or a research firm to do a survey to find out why it is seen as old-fashioned, or what?
The above should suffice to make the basic point—goods are not the same as services, and the buying and selling of goods is not the same as the buying and selling of professional services. These differences in turn call for the use of evaluation and sales concepts different from those usually employed in the case of products.
What then should a buyer or seller of services keep in mind? I believe the answer to this question lies in three basic concepts:
1. Minimizing uncertainty—A professional service must make a direct contribution to the reduction of the uncertainties involved in managing a business. The proper assessment of a service, unlike tangible goods, usually must take into account the impact of its performance on the client’s business.
2. Understanding problems—A professional service must come directly to grips with a fundamental problem of the business purchasing that service. The successful performance of the service, far more so than the successful production of a product, depends on an understanding of the client’s business.
3. Buying the professional—A professional service can only be purchased meaningfully from someone who is capable of rendering the service. Selling ability and personality by themselves are meaningless.
Let us explore each of these concepts further before proceeding to the practical consequences for buying and selling that emerge from them.