What advice do you have for entrepreneurs shifting their focus from selling services to selling products?

Changing gears from selling services to selling products is challenging, as it requires more than a few changes. Here are some things you need to keep in mind before you make the leap.

1. Your Approach Will Need to Change

You’ve got to be careful. You will need a different temperament for products versus services. For products, you might need more investment to maintain the inventory and supply chain, while for services, you just need some portfolio and the skill to convince. Don’t use the same approach and set same expectation for products as you had for services. Also, you may want to shift gradually, rather than shifting all of a sudden. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

2. It Takes a Lot of Effort

Selling a product takes a lot more effort than you might have originally anticipated. Don’t underestimate how long it takes, and don’t underestimate how much value is needed to create. Just because it doesn’t work, doesn’t mean you can’t fix and improve it. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

3. Connect the Two

There are many aspects of selling a service that can be brought over into the world of selling a product. I find that comparing the effectiveness of a product to a similar service helps to showcase the benefits of that product, especially if the comparison is favorable for the product. It demonstrates a high level of expertise in the field, and can even help to merge the two customer demographics. – Bryce Welker, Beat The CPA

4. Rigorously Test Before the Initial Release

With products, there is a physical component that’s hard to overcome if you do a poor job at it in the initial release. Software can be updated and fixed, but hardware or physical problems are expensive and timely to fix if you don’t do it right. Pay close attention to details, and make sure you test thoroughly to ensure the product holds up, before spending money on manufacturing. – Andy Karuza, FenSens

5. Hire Outside Marketing Support to Get You Going

Hire freelancers and outside help who know how to market products and sell them over services. At this point, you are not an expert, but there are people who are and they are available. It’s better to ask for help in areas you are unfamiliar with in order to make sure you get it right. – Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy


6. Understand Your Customers’ Needs

Make sure you know your customers’ interests, what they like, who they want to be, and what will ultimately move them to buy something. Once these are defined, make sure your products meet their needs. If you do that, when they want to make purchases, they will turn to your product. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

7. Never Stop Learning About What They Value

Never stop learning about the people you are trying to generate value for. It’s really the most important difference. When you were selling services, you created immediate value, but a product is not the same. You need to do a lot of research to know that this product will be truly valued by the market. You can make a product of the year, but if the customer doesn’t get value, then it’s useless. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

8. Aim for High Customer Retention

Once you’re selling products, it’s very easy to become a commodity. Make sure that the product has a high customer retention and the relationships are sticky. For services you have constant interaction and it’s easy to forget that for products that’s not the case. Make sure your product is unique and your switching costs are high. You don’t get chances to save a client before they bounce. – Artem Maskov, DEVTRIBE INC

9. Focus on Existing Customers

Rather than doubling down on your marketing efforts to expand your audience, focus on product deliverables that will help you retain existing customer or new customers. This will support your bottom line as you lose revenue from the clients you’ve been serving previously, and pursue more ambitious growth marketing strategies. – Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com

10. Create Genuine Connections

When shifting from selling a service to selling a product I believe you should change your sales approach. You need to change why a consumer should only work with your services to creating an environment about a customer’s potential product needs. By understanding purchasing power, you will be able to create genuine connections. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

11. Create a Subscription-Based Business

Subscription-based businesses offer a lot of advantages over regular traditional eCommerce. The main advantage is being able to better predict future revenue streams by having a continuous stream of sales. Think of ways your products can be packaged together for specific niches, and form a month-to-month club. – Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

12. Stay in Your Industry

Moving away from your field of expertise is a challenge that should not be underestimated. Mitigate the potential threats by sticking to what you know. One way to do so, when switching from services to products, is to stay within the same industry. You will benefit from the knowledge and contacts you have built during the years, creating immediate opportunities that otherwise would not be available. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

13. Go All-In or Not at All

Trying to be a great service business and a great product person simultaneously is challenging, to say the least. Being a great product leader requires focus, dedication, and time spent with customers, as well as constant obsessing over the problem. If your time is split between running the service side, you’ll likely miss many of the key steps required to develop a product that people can’t live without. – Corey Eulas, Factorial Digital