Traditionally, consultants sell services, not products. In recent years, some consultants are starting to see the benefits of productization. Making services into products makes it easier for the average consumer to understand them. It also addresses some problems inherent in marketing services. For example, it has the effect of standardizing service and improving quality control.
Consultants often struggle to make people see the value of their services. This is particularly an issue when prices for services run high. Consultants know that they are selling their experience and expertise. However, in the open market, people prefer to deal with intangible things.
Productizing services makes it easier for people to understand what’s on offer. Of course, the consultant is still not providing a tangible product. Their services are still just that: services. However, productization helps to make those services more concrete in the minds of clients.
Consultants often shy away from naming everything they do because they like to keep their cards close to their vests. This is for good reason. Good consultants get a lot done and it can be hard to quantify exactly what they do.
However, productizing helps clients, existing and potential, know the extent of services offered by a consulting firm. Many times, talents the client doesn’t immediately need can remain hidden. For example, if a business hires a consultant for a product launch, they may see only one aspect of that consultant’s services.
Most consultants who productize their services do so with packages because selling service by service would not be effective. It’s a bit like a restaurant where the menu is too long: it becomes overwhelming to decide. Packages are a great way to go. It’s important that these packages be flexible enough to be tweaked for clients. The transparency of the package model also helps clients to know that they’ll be a good fit before signing on.
This not only predicts better client satisfaction, it means that the sales team has an easier job. The packaged, productized model can actually lead to better client relationships in the long term.
Productizing is the wave of the future when it comes to consulting in the future. Anecdotal evidence from several businesses suggests that revenues go up when services are productized. Sales teams, consultants and clients all benefit from the increased transparency of the relationship.