You may know that using case studies (or success stories) are one of the best ways to show proof and remove risk in the minds of your buyers. The problem is, it can be difficult to get your customers to go on record with their experiences, due to liability and company image concerns to name just two.
According to Casey Hibbard, in her book Stories That Sell, there are a few ways you can help your customers see the benefit in participating in a case study.
1. Create a Pitch Packet.
Hibbard explains that a pitch packet is simply a set of materials emailed to your customer including all the information they need to decide to participate in the case study.
It can include copies of other case studies featuring other customers, so they have an idea how the information will be presented.
2. Help Customers with Fame and Publicity.
People enjoy getting recognition and appearing successful among their peers and competitors. As Hibbard mentions, you have an opportunity to “make individual contacts famous with a campaign highlighting the customer’s best practices.”
When pulling quotes from the case study, they can be used in more creative ways to shift attention to your customers, which really is the whole point of the case study focused on your customer.
I noticed a great example of this recently in a brochure from a colleague, who runs a video production studio. He positioned his glowing customer testimonial with the contact’s name, company name, and well-recognized logo.
Below that? Not surprisingly, and not so coincidently, his customer’s logo appeared once again – right below the one with the testimonial. It could have appeared with over forty other client logos, but where would displaying it make the most sense?
In a spot that gave the customer even more fame and publicity with their testimonial.
3. Ensure Win-win Outcomes
Of course win-win outcomes would improve your chances of getting them to participate. Otherwise, your customer doesn’t see much benefit in it for them.
“The key is to find a way to tell your story and the story your customer wants to tell the public,” says Hibbard.
Set the Expectation Early
Another motivator in getting your customer to agree to case studies (and have used myself) is to set the expectation early in the sales process that when all goes well, the customer will be asked to participate in a case study.
This is very open and upfront, yet conveys a message of professionalism and care in providing a product so diligently that the customer will want to speak highly of your company.
The prospect gets the message you want them to get while getting that warm, secure feeling about doing business with you. And that professionalism that won you customer and case study will win you many more customers.
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