«Return to Blog List Is the Right Story in Your Back Pocket?

One of my clients, a workforce software company, is going after a niche market – security firms.

They have one really solid customer case study for that vertical market, but ideally want 4-5. So why, once you’ve invested in one, do you need more than 1-2?

Think about your prospects. In the course of selling to them, do you find they all have the same goal and same needs? Not likely.

Prospects are often at different points, facing different challenges. When in sales discussions, you want to be able to pick from an assortment of stories and find the one that specifically addresses that company’s situation. Show an outcome that matches the outcome the prospect desires.

How do you do this?

Look at a particular vertical among your customer base and prospects, and identify several “profiles” among them. Smaller businesses that need X, larger businesses that need Y, those that serve government clients and need to comply with regulations…What are the top situations you encounter?

When you meet with prospects, pull just the perfect story out of your back pocket.

4 Responses to Is the Right Story in Your Back Pocket?

  1. Great point. Even the same “prospect” sometimes needs different information. The CEO/upper management types want to know generally how it works and how it will benefit the company. The middle managers need to know a bit more about how it works, and how to implement it. And the on-the-ground workers need a very detailed view of how it works, and how they can use it.
    Of course, there are many different levels, but these (in my mind) are the biggies.
    I think it’s important to stress too that all the case studies should have the same “feel”. No matter whether you are reading the CEO studies or the detailed ones, the reader should still be able to tell that he/she is reading an ABC Company case study. (And this is a good selling point for writers too…)

  2. Hi Graham,
    Excellent point! Even though each one emphasizes something different, keep an overall consistency across all customer success stories.

  3. Casey you make an excellent point. I just read David Meerman Scott’s book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” and one point he makes is to divide your customers or visitors to your web site into “buyer personas.”
    These buyer personas are different groups of people who have needs, questions and motivations that differ from the other groups.
    (He uses the example of a University web site that may have visitors who are prospective students wanting admission and student life info, parents of prospective students who want info on the quality of education and financial aid info, current students who want info about class schedules and campus events, and alumni who want to know about giving and alumni events).
    Once you’ve identified each buyer persona, David Scott recommends creating content that will address each different need of these groups.
    The point is not everyone who is a potential buyer fits into the same group or has the same needs.
    Charles Brown

  4. Hi Charles,
    So there’s an official name for what I’m talking about – buyer personas! This is definitely the same approach with customer success stories. A company with multiple products and targets might have a lot of different buyer personas to hit. You have to have customer stories that resonate with each persona.
    How is Meerman’s book? I should probably pick it up.