When a would-be customer comes along, you know they're looking for your help with a pain point.
That might be due to a new activity, scaling up to meet demand, or they're desperate to escape from a tragic competitor. Whatever the reason, they're measuring you up and want to know if you have what it takes to become their latest superstar.
They're asking one simple question: "how can I trust you to solve my problem?".
Many businesses hear that and go down the wrong track. Their website jabbers on about themselves, and they go overboard using the word 'we'. They don't show enough consideration to where their prospect has been, where they are now and where they want to go. In short, they're not giving their prospect much reason to believe they are the one to go with.
The best way to build that trust and prove you have what it takes to solve their problem is by allowing your happy customers to do the talking. Let them be the bridge that connects you. Let them show how they succeeded with your help. Let their story prove why your prospects can trust you.
Cartman knows his secret weapon means we'll end up respecting his 'authoritah!'
Great, your latest prospect has started to engage. What do they see on your site? What do they hear? Are you describing your services (talking about yourself)? Are you detailing a list of features and benefits (talking about yourself, again)? Maybe you're throwing in a smattering of testimonial sentences that eulogise about how you "helped a great deal and are thoroughly recommended" (empty words, and still talking about yourself).
Ok, ok, you have to state the basics and at least tell folks who you are and what you do. But stopping there means you're missing out on the greatest sales weapon you have - bona fide, genuine customers who are so impressed by how you helped them achieve success that they're willing to share tangible proof of just how good you are.
Those customers aren't biased; there's no incentive or ulterior motive. It's not their job to make you look good. And that makes their evidence infinitely more relatable and dependable than anything your sales team can come up with. Their success story is social proof delivered on a platter.
Don't underestimate how valuable this contribution can be. Those customers are the key to building trust with new customers, and having trust in you is vital before generating any sale.
It's stating the obvious that how you sell anything is by providing value. Whether that's by helping your customers increase their sales, saving them time with better processes, or helping remove aggravation with smoother systems. Showing how you can move your customers from where they are to where they want to be is a given.
In B2B marketing, that's traditionally in the form of highlighting features and their associated benefits. Cold, logical, clinical.
But when you think about it, there's really no such thing as B2B marketing. Businesses don't sell to other businesses. They sell to people who use products and services to further their own business goals.
This is why any copywriter worth their salt will tell you that proving value is only one side of the marketing coin. The other is getting under the skin and playing the emotion card. Go beyond regular features and benefits, and start pushing the emotional benefits you offer.
If Captain Holt gets how emotion can be used in unorthodox situations, so can you.
You may scoff here, but you really should involve emotion in your B2B marketing. Neglecting to use emotional tactics would be criminal.
Need some persuading? B2B buyers are just shy of 50% more likely to purchase when they see personal value in their decision. That could be enhanced reputation, increased chance of promotion or plain old pride and confidence in themselves. They're also eight times more likely to pay out a premium when they receive some measure of personal value from their decision.
Of course, the level of payback depends on what's riding on the outcome. If you buy some office stationery, there's little on the line if you get it wrong; it's a low stake investment, and you can replace pens and paperclips easily enough.
On the other hand, if you're pushing for a new SaaS provider or a different component supplier for your business, the risk is not just to your personal standing, and possibly your job which is stressful enough, but also to your company and any colleagues who may be adversely affected by your decision. These big calls have ramifications that reverberate far and wide, personally and professionally. So straight there, you as an individual are deeply emotionally invested in the decision.
The higher the stakes, the more apprehension, uneasiness and trepidation can sink in. Any of which can kill a sale in an instant. Minimising stress, anxiety and alleviating uncertainty about you is paramount. The purchaser needs to see signs pretty quickly that they can trust you to deliver. If they don't see that on your site, they may not get in touch, give you a second chance and move on to a competitor.
Now, you can use tactics on your website like free trials and samples, provide clarity with FAQs, and offer no quibble refunds with a clear and simple cancellation policy. But nothing, and I mean nothing, will hit home and generate trust in you better than placing great customer success stories, aka case studies, front and centre.
Case studies are real stories told directly from your happy customers that detail the pain points they faced, how you helped them overcome those obstacles, and the results they've seen with your help.
They're credible, create a connection, generate empathy (and sometimes FOMO), and let you deliver a consistent message of trust across your sales funnel.
Trust that you can deliver a service your customers can rely on, a product that won't fail, and help whenever they need it.
Need some stats to back that up just how good case studies are?
Prince Adam used old, stale copy but then discovered the power of... case studies!
Case studies are fantastically versatile. Think of them as the swiss army knife of marketing. Just one interview with a happy customer can deliver content you can repurpose at every stage in your marketing campaign.
Case studies never grow stale either; you can use them across any campaign you ever run. And as case studies are unique to your company, they can never be stolen by your competitors.
Here are a few examples of how you can use case studies across your marketing strategy:
Generating trust in your services is crucial when persuading your leads to buy from you. Leads are savvy and won't buy without looking for social proof. They'll go online, search for reviews and check out your reputation before making that all-important decision.
Why not take control of the narrative, show off your best work and give your leads the evidence they're looking for?
This is where I come in.
I discover how you help your customers succeed and translate that into apathy-busting, sales-boosting case studies that give your leads the proof they're demanding.
Case studies that work 24/7/365, never grow stale and can be used across every section of your marketing strategy.
Want to turn your customer success stories into your greatest sales weapon?
Drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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