Writing a Services page that works

Your Services page can just be a list of services or it can help you reassure leads who are close to buying from you. Here’s how.

Your Services page can be…

Well, just a list of services.

Or it can help you reassure leads who are close to buying from you.

To do that—and you’re probably getting the picture by now—you need to focus on the benefits of your services, not just the services themselves. Don’t just let your prospects know what your services are—let them know how your services can help them.

Here’s how.

1. Consider drilling down

You might think about writing different service pages for different target audiences.

If you do, you’ll be able to get much more specific about how you can help potential clients. For example, a web designer might talk about services for healthcare, manufacturing, and so on.

Why? Because the website needs of a manufacturing business are going to be much different from those of a healthcare company: they’re both going to need, say, a homepage and a Contact page. But then in between, there’s a wealth of choices that each business might make differently.

The point is that unless you’re already working on only a single specific industry, each of your potential clients will come to you with a different set of needs.

If these needs are different enough, it might make sense to drill down.

2. Talk about how you work

Why is someone reading about your services? Because they’re wondering what it would be like to work with you.

That means you’ve got a great opportunity with your Services page—explain your process so your potential clients can imagine doing business with you.

Here’s an example to illustrate my point.

When was the last time you went to a car dealership? Did you go on a test drive?

If so, you made the salesman’s dream come true. They’re desperate for you to get in that car because the test drive is the number one way they sell their machines.

Because as soon as you start driving, you begin to imagine what it would be like to own that car. You’re listening to the radio, saying, “Wow, this sounds good.” You’re experiencing how the ride feels, and you’re testing the gas pedal.

Do you understand what’s happening? You’re doing more to sell yourself during that test drive than the salesman could ever do on the lot.

So how can you do the same with your company?

Well, as a service-based entrepreneur, you can’t. Not really, anyway. You can’t build a website and let a potential client try it out for three months. You can’t give someone six free massages to let her discover her back feels better.

Because you run a service business—with an emphasis on the word “business.” Your product is your time, and you’d be wasting it to give it away for free.

But by at least identifying how your process is going to work—by helping leads imagine what working with you would be like—you can relieve a lot of the anxiety that comes from making a purchase decision.

And just like in a test drive where you start to tell yourself, “Oh yeah, you know it really would be smart to buy this car,” your prospects will start to convince themselves that it would be a great idea to work with you.

And that, of course, is the first step to making the sale.

3. Use your secret weapon—a guarantee

What would you do if a client wasn’t happy? If they said, “Hey, that was the worst massage I’ve ever had” or “You know this personal training just isn’t working out”?

You’d probably try to save the relationship—but if that couldn’t be done, you’d give them their money back. Any honest person running a service business would.

So why not guarantee that you’ll give them their money back if they’re not happy?

For me, I find that having a guarantee on a website helps me. I know that I’m going to write until my client is happy, and if something goes wrong, I’ll shake their hand, say sorry, and return their cash.

But here’s why I guarantee that my clients will be happy with my work.

I write content all day, every day.

But my clients?

Maybe they’ve never had professional copy written before. Perhaps they have, and they’ve had a bad experience. They might be nervous—or just not looking forward to investing in the project.

That’s a lot of reasons they may be anxious—which is why it sounds a lot more reassuring when I say to them, “I guarantee you’ll be happy with the copy, or I’ll give you your money back.”

And you can do the same thing.

Web designer? How’s this? “I guarantee that you’ll be happy with your final site, or you won’t pay.”

If you’re a chiropractor, what about: “Try four sessions. I guarantee you’ll start to feel better, or I’ll give you all of your money back.”

And here’s a guarantee a mechanic could use: “Drive your car for 90 days. If the same part breaks, we’ll fix it again—and give you a coupon for a free oil change for your trouble.”

Just remember: excellent customer service may be the everyday business for you, but your clients may very well be experiencing your industry for the first time. So use a guarantee to help put their minds at ease when they’re thinking about buying from you. A guarantee really can be the difference between landing a contract and watching a sale disappear.

Don’t be scared of guarantees

Now, if you’re worried too many people will use your guarantee, don’t be.

Offering a guarantee is scary. You might be thinking, “If I say they can have their money back, everybody will ask!”

But the fact is that’s just not true. Take this a story from Harvard Business Review as an example: the exterminator in the article paid out only $120,000 in refunds on $333M of sales.

That ratio isn’t an anomaly—or at least it’s not in my experience. Out of 100 clients, I get maybe two that I talk to about a refund. And out of all the people who’ve ever asked, I’ve only refunded one small project.

When you weigh that low number against the benefits of making it easy to buy from you, offering a guarantee seems like a no-brainer.

Use your guarantee to rise above the pack

A guarantee can be a differentiator, as well—because your competitors probably won’t use one.

To illustrate, look to the famous story about Schlitz beer.

In the early 20th century, Schlitz sales were slumping. So they contracted a writer to redo their marketing copy.

The writer went through their plant and watched the effort it took to make a pure, clean beer.

And that’s when the writer realized nobody else in the industry was talking about the purity of their beer. Everybody did the same things, but nobody was saying anything about it.

So, by merely bragging about the purity of their beer—by saying, essentially, “Our beer is clean, and here’s how we make it that way”—Schlitz made every other beer company look like they were selling dirty beer.

The result? Schlitz rocketed to the number one spot.

It’s a winding analogy, but I think it nicely shows the power of being the only one to say you’re doing something—even if everybody else is already doing it.

It’s almost a certainty that your competitors—any one of them—would give an angry customer their money back. But I’d be willing to bet that not one of them is talking about it up-front.

By doing so yourself, you can own that position in the market.

  • “We’re the only web company in the Sacramento area that guarantees their work.”
  • “If you find another plumber in the area who offers a money-back plus ten percent guarantee, I want to know about it—because I want your business so much I’ll give you money-back plus 20 percent.”
  • “When was the last time someone guaranteed peace? We do—if your yoga session gets disrupted by someone in the class, we’ll give you another session for free.”

Because if you’re going to go to all the trouble of implementing a guarantee…

You might as well own it.

4. Don’t forget the call to action

I’m a strong advocate for adding a call to action to your Services page, too.

Because you can’t settle for something as weak as “Contact us to learn more.” Give your readers something that they can download —additional reading they can do about the problem they’re having, extra information on making your services work better for their business, more details on a particular service, and so on.

You’ll want something they can take away and read on their own time—to help them sell themselves.

Remember, your potential clients won’t buy from you until they feel they understand how things work.

By giving them some information to download, you’ll help them get to that point without putting any sales pressure on them.

Let your Services page do the work for you.

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