If you’re like most consultants, you’ve packaged your services into categories, each offering a series of deliverables. For example, a marketing company may offer an  SEO package, a content package, and a design package. Other service providers may color code their packages with titles like bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Shaping  your services like this may seem like an efficient way to do business--but is it really? How many clients really understand the deliverables? How much time do you spend explaining them to one client after another? 

Instead of offering a package of deliverables, you want to offer your clients an end product: a true solution to their problems. This is what is called  productized consulting services. This article explains the difference between packaged and productized services -- and why it is more profitable to productize.

Video Transcription

Hey, it's Alzay Calhoun with Coveted Consultant, and today we're going to talk about the difference between packaged services and productized services. Though they have some similarities, they are not the same thing. In fact, I believe that a productized service is a game changer for your business. Let's get into it.

So let's start where most agencies start when they think about describing or offering their services. They make a list, and I'm sure you’ve probably made a list too. You think to yourself, "What do I know how to do? What does my team know how to do? Let's make a list of our expertise." So you do that. You make this big long list of all these things you know how to do.

And so there's SEO skills in here, PPC skills, content skills, web design skills, coding skills, et cetera, et cetera, right? All these different skills that you list out. I mean, in practicality, you've done a lot. You've studied a lot, you've learned a lot, you've experienced a lot, you've tried a lot, you've failed a lot, you've succeeded a lot. You've been doing it for a long time. 

So the assumption here is that if you just list all of that expertise out, then your client will appreciate all of what you know how to do, and you're thinking that they'll pick and choose from your expertise, and therefore you can create a custom solution for them.

That makes a lot of sense--until you start doing it. And then what you find is that you have to explain all of these things to your prospective client. You have to explain what you did, why you did it, what it's about, how it works, what they need. I mean it becomes this long, long explanation, and the more you explain your expertise, the more confused the client gets. And that ends up becoming a conversation that neither one of you enjoy.

The Problem With Consulting Packages

So you figured out that just listing off your expertise isn't the most efficient approach, and you notice after doing this five, ten, a hundred times, you pick up some trends. You notice that your expertise is kind of categorized. It's got some colors, it's kind of color coded. 

So then you package that expertise up into a series of deliverables. You say, "Okay, well we'll offer packages. And we'll offer different types of packages." Maybe you label them bronze, silver, gold, and titanium. 

Maybe you created a SEO, a PPC, a content package, and a web design package. So you list out the packages. The packages are organized by what you plan to deliver, and this is so much easier to explain, and I agree with that. Packaging your services in this way, it’s so much easier for a client to immediately see what's available to them and begin to sort through and understand everything better.

But something's still missing here. Remember, your client is not an expert in this world. So even though you have these very cleanly displayed packages, they don't know what any of this stuff means. 

So you're having to show them package number one and then describe all of the deliverables, A, B, C, D, E and F, et cetera. Then you gotta go to package number two and explain all the deliverables. A, B, C, D, E, F, G. Go to package three, explain the deliverables. Package four, explain the deliverables.

Well, if you're going to go through all that and explain all the deliverables, you might as well be here. You're just back explaining your expertise again. You just happened to give it color codes. Still doesn't take you where you want it to go. 

So, is there a better approach? Yes there is a better approach.

Mental Shift: From Packaging to Productizing Services

The better approach is to productize, but making productizing work for you requires a mental shift. There's a shift away from listing your deliverables, A, B, C, D, E, F and G, and instead, turning that long list into a clearly defined road map towards a solution. 

So a productized service begins to look not like a list of deliverables but instead, steps in a process. And your skills, instead of being listed A, B, C, D, E, F and G, they fit inside this linear process.

Now you're asking the client, "What problem do you have? And can we use our skills to help you resolve it? Can we use our skills to help you fix that problem?” 

Let's digest that a bit, shall we?

  • Website: A startup client may want a new website that will specifically help them attract new investors. A Fortune 500 client may want a website that will help them rebrand to a new audience in the coming year. 
  • Content: Some clients want content that can be easily repurposed, and shared around the web. Other clients want content that can be shared one on one, to move people down the funnel. 
  • Advertising: Some clients use advertising campaigns to capitalize on the seasonality of their business, to get as much revenue as they can inside a very tight series of months. Some clients advertise all year long, to generate very specific leads that they can immediately close over the phone.

Those are specifically different problems that require specifically different solutions. Major point here: the power, profitability, and productivity of your agency is not defined by what you know. It's defined by the problems you can solve.

Productizing Professional Services Can Be a Game Changer

Let's bring it all home here. I believe that productized services can be a game changer for your business, but if you're going to experience those results, there's some things you’ve got to really let sink into your brain:

  1. It’s not just about expertise. Number one, you just can't keep shoving your expertise into these services. The more expertise you shove into the services, the harder they are to explain, the harder they are to understand, and clients can't say yes to a service they don't fully understand.
  2. It’s about what you do best. Number two, you just have to admit where you're best. Not a list of what you can do, what you know about doing, but the things that you know are in your very best bit of excellence. 

You've got to be okay with admitting that. You've gotta be okay with systemizing that. You've got to be unapologetic about offering that up as a solution to people with a real problem. You've got to be okay specializing in what you do best.

  1. It’s about solving a problem. Number three, you need to actually solve a business problem. Your client has a business problem, a strategic goal and initiative that they're trying to accomplish. You need to be using your best skills to help them get that thing accomplished. 

When they find you, when your prospective client has found you, they have finally ended their search. “Someone finally has an answer to our problem!” And you need to make it clear--by preparing and executing a productized service.

Thank you for taking the time to watch the video. As a final pragmatic sanity check, I just want to be honest with you: doing this is harder than it sounds. It's going to require some iterations, it's going to require some patience, it's going to require some strategic thinking. 

It's just not the kind of thing, you can sit down in 30 minutes and come up with this brand new idea. It's not that kind of thing. However, if you dedicate the time, this concept can be a business model changer for you.

If you need some help:

  • You could subscribe to the channel. 
  • There is a free training you could register for to get even more details on how to deploy this concept. 
  • You can post a comment below. Take any route you like. 

Again, it's Alzay Calhoun, thank you for taking the time to watch this video.

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