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Here is the tried and tested approach to selling video solutions to your small business customers. Follow these steps so that they don't come back.

Are you looking to sell some simple yet effective video solutions to small businesses? Do you want to turn these one-off projects into solid repeat business? Here is a complete guide to understanding the needs of a small business, determining the value of your services, and some tips on managing the sales process from discovery to post project.

Video production service

The first day on the set for a new client. Image via Sippakorn.

Before we dive into selling videos, let's first define a few terms. A video production service is an entity, person, or company that offers customers a variety of video production options. A video professional would be defined by the equipment and equipment they use, their unique industry knowledge and skills, as well as their production team and location.

Take the example of a small to medium-sized video production company that has multiple employees. This company has some regular customers and longstanding projects, but its continued success and growth depends on finding new customers, offering services that meet their needs, and convincing them to buy video solutions.

I say "solutions" as opposed to just "video services" because I believe this mentality can really benefit video professionals when reaching out to customers looking for something that supports their marketing, recruiting, and sales goals.

The steps in this process in the sales phase include everything that happens before a customer signs a contract: initial brand awareness, advertising, demos, customer interviews, sales pitches, and presentations.

Once this first phase of sales is complete, the actual production phase can begin, from daily work on developing the video to the final delivery of the video and assets.

Video production service from the customer's point of view

What kind of video does your client want?

Help your customer understand which type of video will benefit them most. Image via Gnepphoto.

Depending on the type of business and the products and services they offer, “video production services” can have many different meanings from a customer perspective.

Small business owners often view video production much more than advertising or marketing costs, and at times it can be difficult for them to understand the exact processes and skills required to make video.

For this reason, video professionals should make education an important part of the sales process. A good way to accomplish this is to familiarize prospects with the different phases of the upcoming production process – the discovery phase, the pitch phase, the onboarding phase, the product phase, the processing phase, and the delivery phase.

Discovery phase

Make sure your prospects can find you and see some of your work. Image via Tashatuvango.

Essentially, your connection with a prospect takes shape when they first “discover” you and your services. The most common form of this discovery is demo videos on your website and work samples on your social media channels.

Ideally, these will show the best aspects of your video production offering and give a good insight into the different types of video services that you offer. Another way to fix this is with testimonial videos, which give even more insight into how your video services can help your customers by solving their unique needs.

Pitch stage

Present your idea to the customer.

As you come up with your ideas, make sure you explain the benefits in a language they can understand. Image via Godshutter.

After the discovery phase, it's time for the field. This phase is absolutely crucial.

At this stage, a video provider needs to be able to speak the language of a small business owner or marketing manager to best explain how their video services can help.

It's also a good idea to provide references and examples of previous work that match the needs of the small business. Be transparent about the cost and always ready to justify the value that comes with the price of your services.

Onboarding stage

After the pitch phase, the onboarding phase forms the basis for trust and future repeat business. The first steps in the onboarding phase include an initial interview to determine the specific needs of the small business. Are you looking for more sales and profits? Are you trying to find new employees or improve employee loyalty? Do you want to improve your sales presentations? Keep them talking and don't be afraid to keep asking questions.

Be patient in this process and explain everything in detail. As a tip, I'd say the best thing to do is to avoid getting too technical in the process – leave your video slang at home. Instead, try to incorporate their language to demonstrate that you understand their needs properly. Finally, provide a schedule and list any deliverables that will be included in the project after the project is completed.

Product phase

From there, it's important to keep in touch with your small business customers as you navigate through the next few steps – the product and processing phases.

In the product phase, you provide status updates and regularly touch the base to receive feedback from the customer on production and (possibly) the changes.

If you get feedback – this part is important – don't fight back! Sure, they may not understand videos the way you and your team do, but that doesn't mean you are wrong. It just means that you are not on the same page yet. A good customer will always appreciate that you put extra effort into providing the services they need to solve their specific needs.

Edit stage

Prepare to respond to your client's feedback.

Keep communication open during the processing phase. Image via Gorodenkoff.

The processing phase is essentially an extension of the product phase. Make sure you check in frequently and keep communication lines open at all times. The editing phase is actually much cheaper for sharing designs and implementing feedback because it doesn't require as many moving parts as it does in actual production. You can help make this phase painless for you and your client by using collaboration apps and improving your approach to project management.

Delivery phase

The delivery phase is just as important as the previous steps and should be a fairly straightforward process, especially if you covered it properly during the onboarding.

I recommend showing the final edition in person (if possible) rather than just sending it digitally. The goal is to be present and attentive to their immediate response and needs.

Be sure to walk your small business customers through all of the formats and results so that they understand everything you are giving them. Also, show them how to properly access, back up, and store assets in the end.

Post project phase

Now the most important phase of your sales and production cycle – the phase after the project! This phase drives repeat business more than any other.

Start following up and then follow up on others. Ask how the video was used and received. Ask how helpful it was, and ever give some gentle tips on expanding the reach of content. If they are happy they will tell you. And then you offer them the next solution that only your video services can offer.

Do you want to build a better video production company and a longer list of customers? These resources can help:

Cover picture above A Lot of People.

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