I was speaking with a friend yesterday about how difficult it is at times to close deals after an initial consultation.
The process can drag on at times, painfully so if they're speaking with multiple vendors.
Buyers are more selective these days and they're also doing a lot more due diligence.
They're going all-out to make the right decision which adds to the cycle length of deals.
And even then the odds of you landing it are about the same as ever.
The Missing Factor
What seems to have customers 'sitting on the fence' is having enough confidence that you're able to deliver the results you promise.
It's one thing for you to say you can - but how do they know that?
This is what they wrestle with.
Prospects need to be sure you can deliver.
Testimonials are good, but they're actually suited for the very end of the sales cycle.
Testimonial are for after they've decided you're the best choice and they're looking for reassurance.
Before you get there you've still got the confidence issue to overcome.
Anything written opens up questions as to its authenticity.
In the case of testimonials and case studies... did they really say that?
Or even... are they real people, are they real customers?
Case studies provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your customer's seal of approval.
They also tell to the story which lead to them having a successful outcome.
To avoid any doubts as to authenticity this is why you have to get your clients on video.
Seeing a real customer give their first hand account of their journey is incredibly powerful.
From first establishing their need or problem, right the way through to what life is like now with your help.
No one wants to read a lengthy case study.
Frankly, it's too much work.
And more often than not customers don't learn anything from them because they're written more as a promotional piece.
If you get your customers on camera you can very easily create a powerful sales and marketing tool which will have a greater impact than ANYTHING you could hope to produce or write yourself.
If you had the option, I can well imagine you'd choose to watch a short video over reading a 2,000 word document.
Your customers are no different.
The bonus is that if you make it easy for your customers to do their due diligence and learn why YOU are better suited to help them - first they'll thank you for it.
And second, you'll convert more sales in the process.
The Formula For Success
Ok, so let's say you've got a client in mind who would make a great advocate but also a great case study.
The first thing I'd say is to avoid producing case studies in the same way that everyone else does.
It's nearly always a predictable Problem-Solution format where after briefly mentioning the problem, the rest of the video is spent talking about how wonderful the product is.
But here's the thing... that's not a case study, it's an advert.
We all love stories.
And stories where the hero rises victorious at the end.
I guarantee that your clients choose you for more than just one reason - so share that!
In order to set about telling the story for why your customer ultimately chose you, you need to make sure you're going to be telling a WINNING story.
By that, I mean a story which is going to perform exceptionally as a sales and marketing tool.
It's also one which will directly help win you new business and close deals.
The goal here is not to produce a video because it's a fun thing to do.
The goal is to produce a formidable sales and marketing asset.
For your case study to deliver the goods it needs to cover as many of the following as possible:
- Sales Talking Points
- Educational Insights
For your case study to be able to do that you need to add an important step into pre-production.
The secret ingredient for success is to build a 'shopping list' of talking points to cover
During the pre-production meeting you need someone senior from both sales and marketing.
Each side has unique value and insights to offer.
Through an informal interview process you can determine what they know a customer needs to understand and appreciate to win a sale.
During a regular sales journey, after a series of successful 'aha' moments your client is able to have the epiphany that you are the perfect choice.
The caveat is that they NEED to have all the necessary 'ahas' to reach that.
Where your shopping list comes in is during the customer interview.
Rather than asking a series of open questions and hoping for the best...
The interview will be structured so that we get your customer to cover all of your features, benefits and sales talking points IN THEIR OWN WORDS!
I have to put that in caps because it's such a cool thing...
Not only do you end up with the perfect video, but it's also incredibly natural and thoroughly authentic.
Yes it requires thought and careful planning before hand.
But great planning leads to even better outcomes.
If you'd like to see how that approach looks once it's put into action, take a look at the video below...
Just one case study video at your disposal could make all the difference.
Seeing and hearing an actual customer recount their experience and justify why they made their choice could be that crucial missing ingredient that you've needed.
Video case studies are my sole specialism. If you'd like to have someone to talk to for helping plan and take care of the production process for you - then please do get in touch.
No obligation, no sales pressure. But a 20 minute chat with expert advice on the way forward could make all the difference.