Success Stories Sell

Rather than tell prospects how good your product or service is, consider using short stories about how your clients have benefited from working with your company.You can turn success stories into press releases or newsletter articles and then post them on your web site like Sierra College Training & Development does to promote customized training in lean process improvement and other business topics. Sierra College CACT and Training & Development Fall 2010 newsletter

Another way to help prospects envision how they might work with your company is to produce a brief bulleted outline summarizing projects. Use a one page format to explain the success of a project and position your firm as having experience in successfully completing assignments and overcoming challenges. These can be used in sales packets, proposals and on your web site. Generally the format should include:

Client Information: Name, web site and other relevant general information about your client. Look at the client’s home page to pick a few nuggets of information that prospects may be interested in such as location, number of employees or business focus.

Project: Describe what your company did for the client.

Goal: What was your client’s objective?

Challenge: What was the challenge or difficulty that this project faced such as lack of resources, tight time frame or change in the marketplace?

Solution: What did your company do overcome the problems, reinforcing the benefits your offer that differentiate your product or service?

Impact: How did the project help your client make money or save money? List other numeric results such as reduced costs, improved productivity and return on investment.

Testimonial: Include a quote from the client describing what it was like to work with your organization and the results.

Photo: If appropriate, use a photo of the client, the project or other graphic.

Ask your client to review what you’ve written and give permission to include a photo and testimonial before publishing it. Get into the habit of producing a success story as part of your project close out process. Use your success stories to sell others on doing business with your company.

Success story is a best seller

When you’ve solved a customer’s problem or helped a customer make money or save money, turn it into a story that you can tell to other prospects. Often sales people are on to the next sale and forget the value of capturing a success story. That’s where marketing comes in. The description of how your company helped a client overcome a challenge can go on your web site, be used in a newsletter or be part of the presentation packet for a new customer.

Although it is like pulling teeth to get a sales person to relay some of their good stories it is worth the effort. The sales process is about overcoming fears that the service or product won’t work as expected. What better way to persuade than to tell a story of how your company solved a similar problem for another client?

To see some examples, check out how the Sierra College Training & Development and Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) tell successful employee training stories and the beneficial impact on the companies served.