The Art of Being Thankful

 

Thanksgiving is upon us and countless families will gather around a table overloaded with turkey and all the trimmings, and one by one, state those things for which they are thankful. Some will express their gratitude for family or health, while others will give thanks for professional or personal success. Regardless, it’s a holiday that encourages us to reflect and be grateful for what we have (or in some cases, don’t have). It’s also the only day of the year where giving thanks is heavily promoted, encouraged and celebrated.

Why wait until Thanksgiving to give thanks? Being thankful is something we should aspire to do each and every day. It’s not as if there aren’t many things for which we can be thankful. Perhaps your spouse hands you the butter knife at the dinner table, or at a work meeting where you forgot to bring a pen, a colleague lends you one. Many times throughout each and every day, we’re presented with opportunities to express our gratitude for something that someone else did. You never know how much “Thank you” will brighten someone’s day.

It’s easy to say thank you when you:

  1. Receive a gift
  2. Land a significant client
  3. Get the job offer
  4. Hear people say “congratulations” to you

Other, less obvious, but just as worthy “thank you” moments include:

  1. Someone, either directly or indirectly, says they believe in you
  2. You feel inspired by something you’ve read, or after a chat you had with another person
  3. Hearing words of encouragement when you’re having “one of those days”
  4. The muse strikes as a result of a conversation you have with another person
  5. Being let go from a company on the verge of it folding and subsequently having an epiphany about what truly inspires you
  6. Prospects that say “No”, since we learn more from our failures than successes
  7. Receiving feedback from colleagues, clients, prospects or managers that redirects your efforts

While there are seemingly endless “thank you” moments, the gist of this post is to say that we should all be willing to express our thankfulness.

I get it. It can be hard to say “thank you” to someone when things go awry. You might need time to pass to fully appreciate the situation and how it ultimately helps you. Having the humility to give thanks when any of the more difficult situations arise makes us stronger. It gives us courage and hardens our resolve to see things through. So, for me, having experienced each of the seven moments listed above, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

#artofbeingthankful

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How To Use Power Questions To Boost New Business

 

 

 

 

 

Why?

As a parent, I’ve heard this simple, yet powerful, question countless times from my three kids. It’s effective as it forces me to answer, lest they continue to barrage me with follow-up “Why” questions. I have to give more than a “Yes” or “No” response. I also have to provide information explaining my answer. Whether it’s the answer they want or not, my kids will continue to probe. They want to uncover my real objection or position, so they can try to overcome it or change my views. It’s no wonder that the axiom, “Kids make the best salespeople” is not just a catchy phrase, it’s also completely true. My kids, like so many others, are master intelligence operatives.

The same principles hold true in business. Questions are used to obtain critical information to learn what to do, how to do it, when to do it and most importantly, why to do it. Whether it’s acquiring another company, considering enterprise software updates or crafting the company’s long-term strategy, questions play a key role in a company’s ongoing viability.

The right questions get us the information we need to make smart decisions and plot the course forward. This is especially true for marketing and business development professionals. Uncovering prospect needs is a key success factor in the sales process. When you don’t ask the types of questions that elicit the right answers (information), it’s difficult to create value for the prospect. If you can’t demonstrate value, the risk of not getting the sale increases. As I summarized in a previous post discussing the concept of selling Benefits vs. Features, Value = New Business.

Finding value when conversing with prospects is about asking the right types of questions. Closed-end questions that allow prospect to answer with “Yes” or “No” won’t cut it. Open-end questions (also known as “power questions”) are thought provoking and result in key details that facilitate the sales process. One important, albeit basic, thing to remember: when you’ve asked a power question, stop talking, listen and take notes. This does two things: (1) shows the other party that you’re actually interested in what they have to say and (2) helps you remember important details later.

To get the information you need to build value and new business, ask power questions that:

  1. Make them think before responding. Like the above example with my kids, when you ask questions that don’t encourage only “Yes” or “No” answers, you’ll obtain the information you need.
  1. Qualify needs. If you can’t uncover a prospect’s needs, it’ll be hard to create value that entices them to move forward.
  1. Compels your client or prospect to consider new information. By making them evaluate other details (downstream impacts, other possible stakeholders, etc.), you’re demonstrating value…the kind that comes from experience.
  1. Focus on personal and company goals. One of the best ways to add value is by helping the decision maker, and their company, meet goals.
  1. Distance your company from the competition, not tie them together through comparison. Power questions allow you to cleverly highlight how your products and services add value by identifying their unique value, while indirectly illustrating the competition’s shortcomings.
  1. Touch on improved operating efficiency, productivity, revenue and cost savings. Asking power questions with this focus will allow you to simultaneously uncover needs and the product or service benefits (not features) they’ll find most valuable.

While there are countless examples of power questions that should be asked, for the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on a few. An important note: ask questions from a positive perspective.

For example, don’t ask something like, “What don’t you like about …”.

Reframe it as, “What would you change about…?”.

The first question will only elicit a negative reply. However, the second example prompts the other person to think about how they’d change things for the better. It’s a slight difference in wording, but a powerful difference in the tone and result.

Below are examples of a few power questions you can ask (and a few non-power questions that you shouldn’t ask). I have the financial services industry in mind for my sample questions, though as you can see, they are easily adaptable to other industries.

Ask This: To what extent is outsourcing a part of your company’s business model?

Not This: Does your firm do any outsourcing?

 

Ask This: What’s been your experience with accounting platforms like (insert service provider names)?

Not This: What accounting platforms do you currently use?

 

Ask This: How does your firm determine which trading or reporting systems to use?

Not This: Do you use (insert service provider)?

 

Ask This: What is one thing you’d change about previous system implementations?

Not This: Are you satisfied with previous system implementations?

 

Ask This: What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of a new product or software implementation?

Not This: What usually goes wrong during an implementation?

 

Ask This: To what extent does a new client improve profitability?

Not This: Is a new client worth a lot to your company?

 

Ask This: In what ways have regulatory or client initiatives influenced project decision-making?

Not This: Do business needs change project decision-making?

 

Ask This: What makes your firm choose one product over another?

Not This: What would it take to get your business?

 

Ask This: How will the decision be made?

Not This: Are you the person that makes the decision?

In the movie, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Indiana Jones is told by a centuries-old knight to choose the cup from which he will drink water from the fountain of youth. After a brief, but harried deliberation, Indy chooses a cup and gulps down the water. The Knight looks at him and says, “You have chosen…wisely.” The same applies to the questions you ask client and prospects.

Ask (wisely) and you shall receive.

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Rock The Vote: Getting Constituent (Customer) Feedback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is Election Day, and across America, people from a wide swath of life and experiences will cast their votes for an array of candidates and ballot initiatives. This process will unfold in big cities and small towns alike, all with a singular purpose: giving constituents the opportunity to voice their individual opinions. In some cases, the feedback will result in significant, wholesale changes; while in others, voting results will reaffirm an existing direction. Nevertheless, the premise is the same: getting constituent feedback to plot the course forward.

This scenario can, and should, play out in the corporate setting. Companies should welcome the opportunity to get constituent (customer) feedback, and seek it out on a regular basis. Too often, business gets in the way, and customer input isn’t received until it’s too late to do anything about it. Smart organizations recognize the value of getting feedback about the products and services their customers are using. Listening to what your customers have to say isn’t a one-shot task; rather, it’s a fluid, ongoing process that incorporates multiple business groups and client segments.

Should your company ask for customer feedback? In a word, yes. When companies create a business plan, an important part of the plan is a comprehensive competitive analysis. This is critical in understanding the company’s position in the marketplace. To accurately compete this process, a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) should be conducted. Asking for, and receiving, customer feedback on a regular basis has many benefits that, together, resemble a SWOT matrix. These include:

Strengths (What Works Well)

Everyone wants to hear that someone else thinks they are (insert superlative). Companies are no different. Getting customer feedback helps companies understand how their product or services add value. Knowing why customers are staunch advocates for your products or services is invaluable competitive information. Get it, and use it to your advantage to crush the competition.

Weaknesses (What Could Be Better)

It’s been said that when people have a bad product or service experience, they will tell ten other people about it. While this describes individual consumer behavior, it also has meaning in the corporate world. By actively seeking customer feedback, companies will uncover product or service issues that clients are experiencing. Understanding and improving the customer experience is not optional. Customers want to know that their voices are heard. Ignore them at your own peril.

Opportunities

Who knows industry trends better than your customers? If your customers are investment firms, then you know that they operate in a heavily regulated environment that requires them to anticipate change. Obtaining regular feedback from these firms will help your company stay abreast of industry trends. Using customer feedback to anticipate future needs and then design practical solutions opens the door of opportunity. If it knocks, will your company be there to answer?

Threats

Whereas customer feedback helps companies pinpoint opportunity, it also identifies threats. These are threats that could challenge the future viability and success of your company, such as:

  • Changing regulations that could render your company’s flagship products and services obsolete
  • New competitive forces that may arise where competition was previously scarce
  • Industry trends that would adversely impact your company’s operations (i.e. reduced demand for outsourcing)

Getting customer feedback will help your company identify potential threats before they arrive. Adaptation is a key to the longevity and staying power of companies. Adapt, improvise and overcome.

Strategic Roadmap

Roadmap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Companies create and follow a strategic roadmap that guides all business functions, including product development, marketing, sales, operations and finance, among others. To build a flexible, scalable strategic roadmap, companies often solicit customer feedback. For a company providing analytics software to the investment industry, obtaining insight from customers about current/future needs is invaluable. The feedback may help prioritize product development objectives (if enough customers, or the biggest customers, are asking for something to solve pain points), along with sales and marketing efforts. If your clients are willing to give you a blueprint to follow, why not follow it?

There are several ways for companies to obtain customer feedback that are well known, though often under-utilized:

  • Formal client surveys (email, newsletters, tools like SurveyMonkey)
  • Online and print polls
  • Social media interaction and engagement (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Information gathering through business development processes

Regardless of the method, companies need to get regular, open feedback from customers. Don’t be afraid to ask clients to give you their honest opinions. They’ll appreciate you asking for their input, and you’ll get invaluable information about how to keep them as a customer.

Ask and you shall receive.

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How Ghostwriting Leads To Spirited Marketing Communications

 

Halloween arrives this weekend, and with it, costumed hordes of kids will descend on our neighborhoods demanding a king’s ransom of candy before moving on to another home. Kids wear costumes to pretend to be something else, such as superheroes, vampires and ghosts, all with the goal of earning a strong candy-based ROI. In the corporate world, when it comes to writing and marketing communications, people also pretend to be someone else. They’re called ghostwriters. I should know – I’m a ghostwriter too.

Ghostwriting does not refer to a translucent, sheet-covered entity scribbling out content; rather it’s a long-standing practice of one person writing content for another. In a typical scenario, a writer authors an article or thought leadership piece on the behalf of another (client or manager). If the content is published, it will appear under the byline of the client or manager, not the ghostwriter.

For example, let’s say I write and publish a thought leadership paper on behalf of a client named Frank N. Stein, and the article is published in a leading magazine. It will appear in the publication as having been written by “Frank N. Stein”. I don’t receive direct attribution (credit) for writing the paper; my client does, hence the term “ghostwriting”.

Ghostwriting is usually associated with publishing the following types of content:

  • Articles
  • Thought Leadership Papers
  • White Papers
  • Books

This content is published through both print and online media, including magazines, self-publishing books through Amazon, LinkedIn and company websites. Some companies have voracious appetites for publishing their own content on proprietary platforms, like LinkedIn company pages, corporate websites and client newsletters. For these firms, ghostwriters play a key role in delivering a regular flow of content, which allows company resources to focus on other high value tasks.

Ghostwriting can move the needle of your marketing communications ROI like an EMF meter in a haunted house. How so? Ghostwriters bring an outside, unbiased perspective to content creation, and with clear subject matter expertise. Every piece of content that a company creates and publishes is an opportunity to expand its influence. A few ghostwriting examples:

  1. A thought leadership paper outlining an effective approach to data management will resonate with investment firms struggling to control disparate data sources.
  1. An article detailing cost-basis accounting and reporting builds credibility and the company’s position as an expert in the field.
  1. A research paper examining complex performance attribution concepts demonstrates expertise and establishes the company as a leading voice in the industry.
  1. A newsletter sent to clients of an investment firm communicating performance results, investment rationale and outlook provides clients with peace of mind, transparency and accountability.

Aside from these examples, ghostwriters add value by writing case studies, crafting tag lines and slogans, creating product sheets, responding to proposals and designing pitches. Having a third-party, objective view removes organizational myopia. It also challenges the status quo and looks for ways to improve the company’s value proposition.

While Halloween is one day per year, ghostwriting occurs year round. It’s not a supernatural phenomenon for companies to fear, but a living, breathing process that adds exceptional value.

No tricks, just treats.

 

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Drive For Show Or Putt For Dough: Selling Benefits vs. Features

A few days ago, I sat in the 1970’s-like office of my family’s auto mechanic, waiting for routine work to be completed. While I sat there, flipping through a random assortment of magazines, in walked a salesperson. His golf shirt and khakis stood out in the shop’s sea of dirty, oily denim. He had a small duffel bag from which he handed out several cheap, plastic cups adorned with his company’s logo.

I continued to skim through a magazine as Golf-shirt chatted up the shop’s office manager while he waited for the owner. He was affable and professional – a true salesperson. He wasn’t overbearing, but spoke nonstop, barely allowing the office manager a chance to speak. Golf-shirt’s focus changed the moment the shop owner appeared and directed him into an open-door office only a few feet from the lobby. This proximity allowed me to hear the meeting play out in its entirety.

Strong Off The Tee

After a few light-hearted, ice-breaking comments, Golf-shirt got down to the business at hand. What followed was an example of where the business development process often breaks down: explaining ad nauseam the features of a product instead of its benefits. Golf-shirt’s pitch involved an in-depth review of a collection of tools he was selling. This review covered the full gamut of features and technical specs, along with his description of how they were top-of-the line, world-class products. Clearly, this was an impressive array of power tools, and any mechanic would be lucky to get his hands on them.

From the type of material used in the construction of the tools, to the speed with which the tools operated, Golf-shirt’s pitch only described what the tools could do. It lacked the more important part: what the tools could do for the prospect. Not surprisingly, the marketing materials (which I glimpsed at the counter during checkout) he left behind also had a singular focus on features.

In doing so, Golf-shirt never addressed how the new power tools could help (benefit) the shop owner. It wasn’t hard to imagine the owner’s glossy-eyed, disinterested look. It struck me while I sat there overhearing this conversation: like he did with the office manager, Golf-shirt did all of the talking. With such a one-way exchange of information, how could he possibly understand the shop owner’s pain points and thereby position the benefits of his products? A kindly older man, the shop owner was courteous enough to allow Golf-shirt to finish his pitch, before ushering him out of the door and returning to work.

Play From The Fairway

Business development is challenging.

Why make it harder on yourself than it has to be? Golf-shirt, had he taken the time to listen and understand some of the shop owner’s issues, could have translated product features into benefits in a way that would resonate with the shop owner.

  • Will the new power tools help the shop owner work on more vehicles, thereby improving his income?
  • Or, will the new tools help the shop owner improve productivity, by doing more, faster?

While these are examples from Golf-shirt’s meeting, the same concept (focusing on benefits) applies to any company, in any industry. Software firms have extensive technical specifications describing the architecture supporting their products. While these are both necessary and useful in front of the right audience (IT, Development), this level of detail is overwhelming and less helpful to other key stakeholders.

Features describe the product or service, and may not mean much to a prospect. Benefits describe how the product or service can help the prospect. Successful business development professionals know that identifying, understanding and solving your prospect’s pain points is key to building trust and winning new business.

Putt for Dough

Marketing materials play an important role in the business development process. One-page and two-page product flyers often list features, rather than the benefits that can be realized from using the product. A few examples of features listed in the marketing collateral Golf-shirt left behind, along with others I’ve seen firms (such as software companies) use:

  1. Titanium chassis
  2. 1500 ft.-lbs. of torque
  3. Web-based or server architecture
  4. Accepts external data feeds
  5. Numerous import/export tools
  6. Custom reporting platform

The above list of features, rewritten as benefits, to show value to prospects:

  1. Strong, tough and durable; built to last
  2. Power through difficult jobs with ease
  3. Flexibility and scalability to meet needs of companies of all sizes
  4. Eliminate data quality issues by seamlessly combining multiple data sources
  5. Get the information you need, when you need it
  6. Save time, money and resources by automating reporting tasks with one click

Being able to recognize and understand your client or prospect’s challenges, and use this knowledge to focus on benefits in all of your marketing communications (pitches, RFPs, collateral) helps business development efforts. It establishes credibility, builds trust and fosters partnership. Further, it leads to your prospect visualizing using the product or service and having a visceral reaction where they see themselves benefitting from it. Once you’ve done this, you’ve created significant value. As business development professionals know well, creating value for prospects is a surefire way to convert them into clients.

Benefits = value. Value = new business.

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Be Like Mike: 9 Ways You Can Be Successful Like Michael Jordan

Most successful people can point to a defining moment in the evolution of their success. It’s a moment that will stand out as their magnum opus. For Michael Jordan, it happened on June 11, 1997 during the NBA Finals. Jordan overcame a crippling stomach illness to score 38 points to lead his Chicago Bulls team to a critical Game Five victory over the Utah Jazz.

This remarkable testament to the indefatigable human spirit encapsulates Michael Jordan’s career, greatness and success. This one single event, in a sea of many others, cemented his status as the greatest player in NBA history. Michael Jordan’s career exemplifies nine success traits that serve as a primer for entrepreneurs and business leaders alike.

Determination

“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” Jim Valvano.

Business leaders and athletes rarely nail it the first time. Success is the result of ongoing efforts to produce a better result than before. By the time businesspeople and athletes achieve incredible success, they’ve often failed many times over. Michael Jordan has said that he’s failed over and over, and that’s why he’s a success. Determination.

Fearlessness

“Once You Become Fearless, Life Becomes Limitless.” Unknown.

Michael Jordan was fearless: he was unafraid of his opponents, failure or success. While fear of failure is a motivator for some, fear of success inhibits others. Fear, in one form or another is a limiting factor. Strip away fear and all that’s left is a clear path forward.

Ambition

“Big results require big ambitions.” Heraclitus.

Successful people, like Michael Jordan, are extraordinarily ambitious. Jordan had the audacity to think and dream big, and the results speak for themselves. An oft-used inspirational canard for athletes: Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team as a sophomore, but his strong ambition drove him to make the varsity team the following season. At times, people may try to belittle your ambitions, but ignore the naysayers and follow the path to fulfillment.

Goal Setting

“I’m a firm believer in goal setting. Step by step. I can’t see any other way of accomplishing anything.” Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan, and other business leaders, set goals and the steps required. Setting goals and putting them in writing is a key to success. Doing so provides you with a blueprint to follow, and to keep you on task when things inevitably go awry. Having a plan and following it is what separates great people who achieve tremendous success and those that don’t.

Visualization

“Visualization lets you concentrate on all the positive aspects of your game.” Curtis Strange.

The process of visualizing allows you to see yourself as successful before it happens, conditioning your mind and body to work toward that objective. Michael Jordan has said many times that he visualized taking the winning shot or making the winning free throws long before it actually happened. For business leaders, it’s no different. They visualize success before it happens and use that visualization as a guide to success. Visualize yourself accomplishing your objectives, and it will be so.

shutterstock_70045072

“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” Walt Disney.

You might have ambition, maybe you set goals, and perhaps you visualize success. If you don’t take action, nothing will happen. Successful people take action, without worrying about the outcome. By taking action, you’re moving yourself toward accomplishing your goals. Have the courage to take that first, often scariest, step. Take action, get moving and you’ll never look back! As Nike’s slogan says, “Just Do It.” Michael Jordan did it.

Focus

“The successful warrior is the average man, with a laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee.

In Game One of the 1992 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan set a record with 35 points in the first half. “I was in a zone. What can I say?” said Jordan later. This expression, ‘in a zone’, has been used by athletes to describe their state of mind when they’ve produced extraordinary results. When you have a strong focus on a task or objective, you’ll do whatever it takes to succeed. And you won’t let obstacles get in your way. Whether it’s searching for a new job, creating and implementing a comprehensive marketing plan, or bringing a new idea to market, having a laser-like focus will help you become a successful business warrior.

Confidence

“Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.” Zig Ziglar.

Nothing great has ever been achieved without confidence. Michael Jordan had such unwavering confidence in himself it bordered on arrogance. He didn’t just think he was going to beat you – he knew it. It’s when we have the confidence to go beyond our previous limits that we can accomplish something extraordinary.

Belief

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford.

Underpinning all of the success traits listed above is belief. It fuels confidence, sharpens focus, prompts action, promotes visualization, creates goals, drives ambition, strips fear and strengthens determination. Michael Jordan believed he was going to be a great basketball player; that was the foundation upon which everything else was built. Believe you can do it and you will.

Success is NOT a four-letter word

No one sets out to be below average or even mediocre. The difference between those that have achieved tremendous success and those who haven’t yet can be found in the above traits. We can all be successful if we embrace these traits and define what success looks like. Michael Jordan embodies success like few others, yet anyone can follow his example. Be like Mike – spread your wings and write your own success story.

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Filed under Leadership, Small Business, Success

Why Your Company Should Use Case Studies to Shift Sales Into High Gear

Gears

Case studies have long been a marketing tool used by consulting firms to demonstrate value. However, any company that sells products or services can leverage case studies to drive sales with new clients and increase sales from existing clients.

Regardless, they are a powerful tool in the sales process and companies from all industries should use them to drive business. There are several key reasons case studies can help your company drive sales and should be part of your sales arsenal. Before discussing these key attributes, let’s review the proper format.

Navigating Case Study Format 

Go With the Flows

1. Background/Challenge

This section describes a client’s pain point (s) that your company’s products/services helped overcome. Demonstrating an understanding of specific pain points will resonate far more with prospects than simply saying, “We understand your issue with ‘X’”.

Think about it this way: would you rather see a doctor that has an understanding and experience treating your specific medical ailment or one that doesn’t?

2. Diagnosis/Solution

Once a company has hired your firm, or purchased one of its products or services, the real work begins. From start to finish, whether for a quick one-day installation of carpet or a multi-year implementation of a data, trading and reporting system for a financial services firm, establishing a good working relationship with your client’s staff is a critical success factor.

A compelling case study will show your prospect several things: an ability to work with people and teams, analyze problems and craft realistic solutions. The Diagnosis/Solution section demonstrates your company’s ability to help prospects navigate through change of varying complexity. Given the detail necessary to provide a sufficient description of your company’s involvement, this component of a case study should be the longest.

3. Results/Impact

This is where the rubber meets the road.

Companies buy products and services or hire other firms to produce tangible results. For some, the goal is improving operating efficiency; for others, driving top-line growth is the desired outcome. Either way, if your firm has helped clients achieve their objectives, then this is where you describe those results.

The Results/Impact section should include a brief summary of the background and teamwork components, and conclude with the tangible results your company delivered. Numbers speak more loudly than words, so quantify results wherever possible.

  • Did your client’s sales increase? If so, by what percentage?
  • Were you able to help them reduce errors, or improve productivity?

These are tangible results and, quite often, clients will be happy to share this information – if you ask. With this in hand, you can draft a robust and compelling Results/Impact section that illustrates your company’s value proposition.

Having covered the format of a case study, let’s look at why case studies are such a powerful weapon in a company’s sales arsenal.

How Case Studies Can Accelerate Sales

Boost Sales

1. Proof of Concept

‘Been there, done that.’

This is strongest value that a case study provides to your prospect. It shows your firm’s ability to solve pain points that your prospect is currently experiencing. When you can articulate that you have already solved the same problem they face, that experience is worth its weight in gold.

2. Focuses on Benefits, Not Features

Too often, the sales process bogs down when trying to communicate value, in the form of features (“With us, you get ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’). For a prospect that is struggling with an issue, hearing about the benefits they’ll gain (“Here’s how we’ve helped others and can help you, too) is far more important. Illustrating benefits helps a prospect understand how your product/service can address their pain point. A list of features only describes characteristics of a product/service, which is relatively meaningless to the prospect.

3. Highlights Competencies

Before buying a product or service, companies want to know that your firm has the expertise to support them. Not only can you present a viable solution to their pain, but you also have the expertise to implement the recommended solution. And post implementation, it shows that you have the knowledge and wherewithal to help the client deal with the issues that will inevitably arise.

4. Illustrates Client Relationship Skills

It’s been said that, all things considered, people buy from people they like. Case studies can demonstrate your company’s likability in that they describe how well your company and its people work with others. Perhaps you had to bridge the gap between two internal stakeholder groups, or help teams understand the value they’ll gain from releasing a death-grip on outdated legacy processes. Either way, it shows your ability to empathize and respect others, while moving the project forward.

5. Shows Ability to Produce Results

When you can deliver results for clients, they will continue to buy your products and services. Case studies show that you have real-life experience producing meaningful results, and gives client and prospects with a strong reason to buy your products or services.

Who benefits from using case studies to drive sales? 

Time to Improve

In short, any company.

For example, financial services firms use case studies to articulate the ways in which they produce value, whether through investment performance or improving efficiency of operations teams. Case studies help IT companies illustrate the value they’ve produced for clients by enhancing security, stability and organization of technology architecture. Recruiting firms use case studies to describe how they’ve delivered value for clients by leading hard-to-find placements or time-consuming searches.

Case studies improve your company’s credibility, brand awareness and sales growth. They can also build and reinforce relationships and trust with clients and prospects. If you’re not using case studies to shift sales into high gear, what’s holding you back?

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