There is an interesting field of thought in the field of service providers which revolves around you are perceived by your clients. The question to ask is whether customers see you as a cost of doing business or an investment in their future. The investment approach is obviously far more beneficial. Clients who see you as an investment are looking for a long term relationship which provides repeat business for you (though that may come with added expectations and higher pressure). Hence, we have come up with a few ways you can sell so that companies feel they are making an investment, not buying an expendable short term service.
Important Aspect: Focus on Long Term Benefits
The key is to form a long-term relationship with your clients. The best way to do this is to focus on the long term benefits that your service provides. How will you be able to continue to service your customers over the long haul and provided constant added benefits? This will vary from business to business but once you figure this piece out, highlight it on the copy in your website, your e-mail marketing efforts, and even your personal sales pitches. For example, even if you provide a one time service such as website design, offer long term maintenance programs where you can extract the design elements from the website into other mediums such as PowerPoint presentations, business cards, flyers, etc.
Off course you don’t want to make it seem that you only offer long term solutions as that may detract some customers from working with you, but the benefits of your services over the long term should be highlighted.
A great place to do this is in your testimonials and case studies. Take a look at the clients you have worked with the longest and create case studies based on the long term benefits your services have provided and how their “investment” in your company has paid off and given a positive return.