Sales & Marketing

The perfect time to sell service contracts to customers

Cover image Time for service contracts

We have already written frequently about service contracts in the ServiceLobby. A large number of our consulting assignments revolve around the design and marketing of service contracts. Today we want to discuss at which customer touchpoints you can best sell contracts.

After all, during the lifecycle of a machine, the probability of a sale is not always the same. That's why you should focus your sales efforts on the times when the customer is most likely to be amenable.

The sale of the primary product is the most suitable customer touchpoint

This is not surprising! After all, when the customer is considering the purchase of a new product, he naturally thinks hard about what represents the best maintenance solution for him. Here, he is then also receptive to contract concepts of all kinds that offer him a long-term and plannable partnership.

So you can more easily convince here that contract solutions offer real added value. If necessary, also inform about Leasing offers, Availability guarantees or similar solutions if you already offer them.

The optimum time window usually closes at the time of closing the sale. Experience has shown that the installation of the machine is less suitable as a customer touchpoint for closing deals. This is also shown accordingly in the diagram above. Here, the customer's focus and concentration is on other things for the time being.

Now the focus is on commissioning and processing the first orders. It is possible to address the maintenance points as part of the briefing and explain how you can also provide support here as a service provider. However, most customers have no head for this at this point.

The end of the warranty period is also suitable for selling service contracts

The second most important point of contact for service contract sales is the end of the warranty period. Until now, the customer has enjoyed the benefits of the statutory warranty or a warranty extended by you, and his production was protected from costly machine breakdowns. The discontinuation of the warranty, on the other hand, can lead to a feeling of insecurity.

You can use this to follow up and inform them about the importance of regular maintenance to ensure smooth operation in the future. Or you can offer an extension of the warranty. Depending on what you have included in your contracts. We've covered the design options for service contracts in detail as part of our online course on the topic of Service Contract Management executed.

So don't miss this opportune time to follow up here. It can really pay off for you to pick up the phone at this touchpoint. Don't let this opportunity pass you by!

As the product lifecycle progresses, the probability of completion decreases

After the end of the warranty period, it becomes increasingly difficult to convince the customer of your offers. If the machine has already been running smoothly for some time, you simply have a harder time explaining to him why he now suddenly needs a maintenance contract.

Nevertheless, touchpoints such as maintenance and repairs purchased without a contract can of course also be used. The prospects of success are just much lower.

But especially in the case of large and problematic failures, you can also find open ears here. After all, once the customer has fallen on his face, this increases awareness of the fact that your service contracts offer an advantage in terms of fail-safety. Here, your technicians may also be able to provide useful support in your sales efforts.

So concentrate your sales efforts primarily on the two contact points when selling the machine and at the end of the warranty period. This is where you have the best chance of success. After that, the willingness to buy tends to decrease. However, you can still close deals now and then, and you should also point this out to your technicians. After all, they often have the closest customer contact during the life cycle of a machine. However, you must be aware of how important the two main touchpoints are for your contract sales.

Selling service contracts is a great way to grow your business and generate secure, crisis-proof revenue. By focusing your sales efforts more wisely, you'll be able to sell more contracts than ever before!

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