How to sell and price chat bot services

Selling chat bots

In this blog post I’m going to teach you how to sell chat bots to your customers and how to price chat bot services. If you want to know how to sell chat bot services and chat bot automation to your customers, were going to cover every aspect of selling chat bot services and how much to charge for your chat bot products.

Chat bots are relatively new market/product

Chat bots are another addition to the marketing automation tool chest, having exploded onto the market within the last 18 months (at the time of writing), changing the way that users and businesses see chat services.

Because chat bots are a relatively new product, that creates problems of its own when talking about them with customers.

Customers won’t know what it is

We can’t just sell “chat bots” to customers, because most of them won’t know what it is. Worse than that, most of them aren’t using any kind of live chat interaction for the business. And fewer still will use any kind of marketing automation platform at all.

Lot’s of DIY options

There are also lots of DIY options out there, which might attract some customers to use. Rather than using you as a service provider, many businesses will use their own in-house team to use a DIY option. Potentially using some of the same automation platforms and tools that you will use also.

Monthly costs to deliver

Finally the last hurdle we have to overcome is that if you are providing chat bot services to a customer, you will automatically incur monthly fees. If you have been lucky enough to be grandfathered into a lifetime deal for a certain chat bot service, then great. But continued maintenance and updating of chat bot services and adding automation to a campaign, will require monthly cost no matter what. So you must think ahead and think about charging a recurring fee, for your chat bot services.

Just because a product is new and exciting, doesn’t mean your customers will want it

“Marketers are a marketer’s dream”

Have you ever heard someone say “you’re a marketer’s dream”? It means that you or someone else are constantly buying new products on the market, or you are an easy sell, which makes you a marketer’s dream.

The irony is that many marketers are a marketer’s dream. The easiest group of people to sell a new marketing automation app, platform, plugging or tool to, are other marketers.

The massive problem though is that your customers do not care about the tools that you use. Just because a new tool or service is available on the marketplace, does not mean that your customers will want to buy it know about it.

Pricing a new service like chat bot automation is no different from any other service

There’s also a misconception that new products and services are more difficult to price.

I’ve talked before on a video [here] about how the time on the market has absolutely no effect on a high or low price. Just because you think chat bots are new, should not affect your pricing strategy, or tell you how to price them in the first place.

A new product on the market is no more or less profitable or easier to sell

There are new products entering the market all the time, old products leave the market. Some products stay 18 months and are considered wild successes. Whereas others stay in the market for decades and are seen as mediocre.

The biggest lie sold to marketers and early adopters, is that new products to the market will be “the next big thing”. There is no such thing as an inherently profitable opportunity. No new product or service is necessarily harder or easier to sell.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking just because it’s a new product, it will be easy to sell and will be easy to make profit. That is a very dangerous misconception.

Trying to jump on a bandwagon early not make it easier to sell

Also just by being one of the first adopters of a product or an early adopter onto the bandwagon, does not make it easier to sell. If there are only 10 people today who sell chat bot services to the rest of the market, you will be no or less successful in selling and closing, when there are a hundred or a million people selling the service.

Being an early adopter will not make it easier for you to sell the product in the long run. That’s not to say that to chat bot services couldn’t be profitable for you or a popular product. Just don’t confuse your early adoption and excitement, with what your customers will want to buy.

It doesn’t matter which tool you use

Finally, it absolutely does not matter which chat bot automation platform or tool you use. Every single platform on the market today will have advantages and disadvantages compared to every other platform and tool.

The tool that you use will have absolutely no bearing on your ability to sell, or the likelihood that your customers will buy.

New services to the market such as chat bots don’t remain “new” for long

You absolutely have an opportunity to carve out a fantastic niche and opportunity for yourself, if you adopt new technology. But simply being new to the market will not make it easier or harder to sell. The advantage you have is that you have a wider array of options to be able to niche into.

The threat is that new services don’t remain new for long. If marketing funnel businesses really take off and benefit from selling chat bot services, then almost every automation funnel business will start selling them.

Like most human inventions, it often becomes a victim of its own popularity. And also at some point will be outdated by another new technology.

There will always be new technologies and tools entering the market

There is no “be all and end all solution”. In 18 months there will be another marketing service, which previously people thought was either impossible or a stupid idea.

  • Email automation
  • Landing page creation
  • Paid social media advertising
  • Chat bots
  • Heat map and analytic tools

These are just some examples of products and services entering the market, which at one point were considered crazy or unsustainable, then rapidly became extremely popular, and now are considered standard offerings if not outdated.

Hinging everything on the products that you serve such as chat bots will only lead to short-term opportunities. Instead, we should be focusing on the benefits and results you can provide to customers and adopt new tools that allow you to deliver those results.

just because you are an early adopter, does not mean you won’t have competition

As something becomes more popular, and becomes more proven, early adopters are often marginalised because the money they spent on beta testing and eradicating the bugs, become smoother experiences for later adopting customers.

Early adopters often feel they have to jump on the next new opportunity, in order to keep a competitive edge. Rather than waiting to see if a market is sustainable and if a product really adds value, before adopting it.

There are always going to be new people entering the market, and offering the same thing that you do, for a lower price.

You have to make sure that your value is seen as stronger than just the price or being a new tool.

Don’t confuse early adoption with defining a niche or category creation

Most businesses want to define a niche and become the number one player in that niche, in order to grow their brand and become a well-known, cash flow positive business.

Sell Your Service has done this with sales training for funnel builders. WooCommerce has done this for e-commerce businesses that want to use WordPress. OptinMonster has done it for creating lead generation capture forms websites.

Each one of these businesses has to find a niche for themselves, and through defining that niche they become the #1 player in that market.

Going one step beyond that are businesses that create a category. They become the #1 player in a market, by defining a new category that didn’t previously exist. They take a crowded marketplace and invent a brand-new category of products, which actually invites new players to enter the market. But through that they position themselves as the #1 player in that marketplace.

Volvo did it with “the world’s safest cars”. Amazon did it through convenient shopping and customer service. Coca-Cola did it for cola flavoured beverages.

The holy grail of most businesses is to create a category and watch as other businesses become early adopters of you and your business and category. You instantly become the number one player, because there is no one else out there in the marketplace.

The enormous, Herculean, spinosaurus-sized caveat though, is that by adopting a new technology yourself as an early adopter, does not help you define a niche or create a category.

Think about this very carefully. If you are an early adopter of a new product or service, you are in fact investing in someone else’s category. You are not defining your category you are becoming a member of that marketplace.

Don’t confuse adopting a new technology or tool, as defining a niche.

How to price and sell chat bot services to your customers

With all that said and understood, let’s get into the process for selling chat bot services to your customers, confidently pricing chat bot services in your marketplace and generating more sales for your business.

How much do you need to make?

We’ve got to start at the start. Any time someone asks me how much should they charge for a chat bot service, or how do they sell more products and services, I always come back to this question. “How much do you need to make?”

Everything about this question will determine the rest of your selling strategy. It will also determine your pricing strategy. Without a clear idea of how much you need to personally make per month and per year, I can’t help you price or sell chat bot services, or any marketing services for that matter.

Until you know how much you have to make per year, we can’t determine how much your business needs to make per year.

Someone with a $1 million income goal, is going to have a very different pricing and sales strategy from someone with a $50,000 a year goal.

Up to $250,000 in business revenue, roughly 50% is appropriate to take home yourself. If you want a 6 figure income, you have to be perfectly clear on that number. Once you know how much revenue you want to generate, and how much income you want to attract, we can move onto the next question.

How many customers do you want to work with and at what price?

$100,000 in revenue is either thousand customers at $100 per year or 100 customers at $1000 per year.

It also equates to roughly $8400 per month. Which is either 84 customers and $100 per month, or 8.4 customers at $1000 per month.

How many customers do you want to work with? This might sound like beggars can be choosers. But you have to be clear on the type of service you want to deliver to your customers.

If you want to work with 100 customers a year and deliver $1000 worth of value to them per year, that’s going to be a very different service and product to a business that only wants to work with 4 customers a year at $25,000 per project.

You absolutely can have a suite of products at a range of price points, and I would encourage you to do so.

But you have to be really clear on how many customers you are aiming, otherwise you’re just going to go round in circles

How do you make the future better?

After a customer works with you, and invests $100, $1000, $25,000 or any price in between or above that. What does their future look like?

This is not a question of what are you going to do for them. We’ll make the assumption that if you are selling the chat bot services, you are going to build and deliver chat bot services to the customer. Rather than think about what you are going to do for the customer, think about what their future looks like, after you work with them.

After you’ve worked with the customer, and delivered the chat bot services, what does their future look like?

Are they happier? How do they feel about their business? What can they now see in their business? What do they now have? What is their average day like? What is their status?

By thinking as descriptively as we can about the future that we are building for our customers, we are tapping into the key to making consistent sales.

We are at a disadvantage that customers won’t know the types of benefit that chat bots can deliver to them. Therefore they don’t know how their future can be made better, by investing in chat bots.

So therefore we have to sell a better future to them, rather than what we are going to build.

For example after a customer works with you and invests $100 per month, you could offer coaching to them to help build their chat bot. Which means in the future they were able to build their own chat bot system and automate conversations with customers, without hiring an expensive marketing automation service.

At $1000 per month, you might deliver a done for you service where you will write their chat bot automation for them. This means in the future they have more time to spend on important tasks, and they spend less time inside chat bot automation platforms. They spend less time having qualification calls with leads, and more time having sales conversations with customers.

You have to think about how they’ll feel, what they’ll become, what they’re going to do, experience and have after working with you. Because that’s what you’re selling. You are selling futures not features.

What are the benefits you are selling to customers?

When you can finish the sentence “in the future my customers can…”, you are able to write a benefit.

A benefit is simply a clearly defined future, which someone wants.

You have to write out the benefits that someone will experience, and have, once they bought from you. We thought about the future that the customer has after working with you, now we need to define them.

For example, in the future after working with me, customers can increase the number of email subscribers on their list, for a lower price.

Another example could be, in the future after working with me, customers can acquire customers for lower cost and increase the conversion rate of leads to sales.

Who needs those benefits?

Now we have to think about who needs those benefits. Some benefits are more applicable, and useful to some customers.

Most people and businesses are going to want the benefits that you provide. Most people want more freedom, more money, more sex appeal, more time doing things they love.

At its core the majority of the futures and benefits that you provide, will lead to 1 of those 4 outcomes.

However some of your benefits will be more suitable to certain businesses.

For example, if one of your benefits is converting email subscribers into customers, a business that already has email subscribers will benefit greater, than a business that doesn’t have any email leads.

This is where we start defining our customers and coming up with a customer profile or avatar that we can start to target.

Businesses that sell products face-to-face will want more meetings booked. Whereas businesses that sell digital products will want more sales and automation.

The benefits that you provide will be suitable to certain customers.

Small businesses, or serviced based businesses aren’t a target or niche. Those aren’t defined segments. You have to really think hard about who would benefit from working with you, more than anybody else.

I’m sure that every business in the world would benefit from working with you, but we can’t work with every business. We can work with anyone, we just can’t work with everyone.

So who needs the benefits that you provide? What do they need to have already, in order to make the project worth your time?

Where do those businesses reside or hang out?

When you’ve written out a list of the types of businesses that would benefit from you working with them, and the type of benefits that they would experience, think about where they hang out.

Are they in online forums? Are they in private Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups? Are they in membership programs, networking events, this or business parks?

This is when most businesses get put off. They hate the idea of manually researching and discovering more about their customers.

If you want to rise to the top 5% of any marketplace, don’t skip this step. Put in the time and spend the day researching your ideal customer and understanding everything you can about them.

Who are their influences on Instagram and Twitter? Who do they follow on LinkedIn and Facebook? What kinds of magazines do they read? What type of websites to they regularly visit? This isn’t something I can give you the answer to straightaway.

But you will discover the answers, if you search long and hard enough. There are groups and websites and forums for every single niche and opportunity out there. If you can’t find enough information about your ideal customer and where they’re hanging out, you’re not looking hard enough.

What’s the biggest problem that those businesses face?

Now we’re going to look back at the customer and think about the types of problems that they face.

What are the problems they experience every day in their business? What are the headaches that they face on a daily basis? What do they dread dealing with and what is it that they’re trying to fix within their business and life?

What’s preventing them from reaching the future which you’ve described, by themselves? Maybe they don’t have the knowledge, or the expertise, or the experience to reach that level.

Maybe the problem is that they struggle to make enough sales, because their sales team is so busy manually converting customers.

Maybe the biggest problem is finding and attracting new leads who are interested in the business.

Maybe the biggest problem is that they don’t know how to scale their social media, because they deal with so many comments every day on a manual basis.

You have to have an extremely clear idea of the problems and roadblocks that your potential customers facing their business, every day.

One of the biggest problems that those businesses face? What are you doing to solve them?

Ask them questions about their business and what they want in the future.

Let’s start thinking about how we can convert potential prospects and leads, into chat bot customers.

If you’ve got a clear idea on the benefits you provide, the problems that they face and where they hang out, your goal is to start booking conversations with interested parties.

They don’t have to necessarily be interested in chat bots, they just have to be interested in solving the problem that they have. Or the benefit which you can provide.

Your job is to now ask them about their business and what their goals are over the next 90 days or 6 months or a year+. The more goals that you can get out of them, this the more likely you are to make a sale.

Ask them where they see themselves and their business in the next 90 days, 6 months or a year. When they list out 2 or 3 goals, reply with “what else?”

Get as many goals from them as possible written out on paper. Ask them which are the most important ones and what they want to focus on. While an extremely simple and perhaps even awkward question, repeatedly asking what someone’s goals are and then asking “what else?”, you’ll get out all of the things they want to accomplish.

If you can position the products in front of someone that helps reach those goals, you’ve made a sale.

Ask them what’s preventing them from reaching that future.

Repeat back to them their top 4 to 5 priority goals and ask them “what is preventing you from reaching these?”.

It might be that they have an individual reason for each individual goal, such as a goal to hire a new member of staff. The reason they can’t do this is because they don’t have the time to interview and train someone.

What we are discovering are their roadblocks. If we can understand what their roadblocks are, our job is to position a solution in front of them, that helps them overcome them.

List out as many roadblocks as possible, again following each question with “what else?”.

Ask them if they’d like help with that.

Repeat back what their goal is, and repeat back their roadblocks. Ask them if you’ve understood their situation.

When they agree with you and say yes ask the final question “would you like some help with that?”.

What you’re doing is getting their affirmation that you’ve not only understood their situation, but you’re also going to help them. Now is when we present a solution or proposal in front of them.

Position your chat solution in front of them.

This is when you can send over your proposal, and pitch to the customer.

In my opinion I like to pitch in person and try to close in person, there are in then. I don’t believe in trying to close over email or over the phone, for a variety of reasons.

Tell them you can start today with a payment.

The most important thing to tell them, is that you can start today if they sign here and pay the deposit.

Close is not asking if they’ve got any more questions or saying you can send the slides over to them. Close is saying to someone “have I understood your situation correctly? This is a solution that can help you reach your goals and we can get started today. Sign here”

But I don’t think I’m good at selling.

Lots of marketing funnel builders that I talk to say that they aren’t good at selling. I totally understand how you feel, but what we found is that when you are aware of what the customer’s problems are, what their goals are and what their roadblocks are, you don’t have to rely on sales tactics.

Have you ever sold chat bots before? Will you now try to sell chat bots after reading this blog post? Let me know in the comments below.

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Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.