The fastest way to accelerate revenues? Just accelerate referrals!
By Barbara Bix -
Let me ask you a question. Are you missing out on business opportunities because prospective clients either don’t know about all of your services—or don’t fully recognize the value that you could deliver to their businesses?
Would these companies be more likely to buy if they knew how others have benefited from your services? If so, maybe it’s time to tell them.
Better yet, let your current clients do the talking. But, make it easy for them to share their experiences with a wide audience—rather than just telling those they know who are in similar circumstances.
Launch a customer case study program.
Customer case studies showcase successes
A customer case study program showcases the successes that current clients have achieved as a result of engaging your firm. Whereas your service descriptions merely describe what you do and how you do it; your client success stories bring your services to life. Each paints a picture of the situations your clients typically face, the obstacles they need to overcome, and the dramatic impact that using your services has had on their companies’ overall success.
Everyone loves a good story
Effective case studies engage prospective clients by telling a story that captures their attention—because it’s also their story. These narratives begin with a description of your client’s business. Next, they describe the crisis that caused that client to seek out your services.
Then, customer case studies detail exactly how your firm helped the company overcome the obstacles standing in the way of their success. This helps your readers easily visualize how you would help them address their own situations. Finally, the most effective client case studies drive home the value that your firm delivers by translating the technical merits of your services into dollars and cents.
Client case studies shorten the sales cycle
Well-written success stories are invaluable marketing tools at almost every stage of the sales cycle. Deploy them in on your website, as sales collateral in pocket folders, and as featured articles in your monthly newsletter to accelerate your clients' buying process .
Early on, case studies help prospective buyers recognize their need for your services by describing your client’s dilemma in a way that is painfully familiar to them. Later in the sales cycle, these same case studies create a sense of urgency about buying because everyone wants to “keep up with the Jones”.
Client success stories also help your organization raise awareness of your services. They can elevate your company above the competition by associating your brand with the better known brands of some of your high profile clients.
Customer case studies also attract media attention because they are relatively easy to turn into meaty articles. Reporters especially like the fact that you have already identified sources willing to speak on the record.
Client success stories attract web traffic because they are rich with the keywords that your most promising prospects enter when searching for solutions like yours. Placed in newsletters—or featured in your practice’s blog—client success stories can help keep your practice top of mind with prospective clients.
Finally, client success stories remove obstacles to the sale. They build confidence that your solutions will achieve the promised results. Moreover, by quantifying the value that your clients received, client success stories help decision makers justify an investment in your services.
Client case studies keep on giving
There’s no doubt that client success stories are versatile sales tools. Yet, many of our clients hesitate to launch customer case studies programs because they worry about imposing on their best clients.
To their delight, however, our clients often discover that their clients are happy to discuss their experiences and look forward to being featured in an article that positions them as leaders in their industry.
Many also find that that the interview itself strengthens the relationship. It turns out that just reflecting upon the benefits they derived from working with our clients, reinforces our clients’ clients’ perception of the value they received. As for our clients, they benefit from gaining a deeper understanding of their clients’ requirements and often uncover other opportunities to serve them.
You can never have too many client success stories
Once they realize all the benefits of doing client case studies, many of our clients ask all their clients to collaborate on customer case studies. Their goal is to get at least one success story for every service they provide in each industry they serve—since all their clients continue to believe their needs are unique.
So, here’s another question. Shouldn’t you start leveraging your clients’ satisfaction to cross-sell your business to existing clients and attract new business?