I attended a marketing success seminar the other day at a local trade show. One thing they mentioned almost in passing that inspired me was the critical concept of selling your successes.
Hmmm… Sell your successes. What could that mean?
Simply put, when you walk the talk, talk the walk. Adjust your marketing and sales conversations and materials to reflect how your product or services helped someone achieve what they wanted.
Now how do you do this? Well, here are three techniques that, when applied effectively, can lower your marketing costs & energize your business.
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➊ Let Testimonials Pave the Way
To best illustrate this technique, let me share with you a line that I often use that goes something like this: If I tell you that I’m great at what I do, at best, you’ll take it with a grain of salt, but if an unbiased third-party tells you that I’m great at what I do, you’ll tend to believe them.
In other words, people tend to give more credence to what someone else says about you rather than what you say about yourself.
So use every opportunity to gain testimonials about you, your team, your product, your service, or your business. Collecting and effectively using testimonials should become an essential marketing strategy for your business.
➋ Using Stories to Get Your Point Across
Storytelling has been around since the beginning of humanity and, when used properly, can illustrate your point better than almost any other way.
Stories have the power to capture and engage the listener in a softened manner – not the hard selling approach that people typically run away from. Stories also have the unique ability to take complex ideas and make them easy to understand – without a dissertation on the subject.
My best advice here is to model other great storytellers. Take one of my favorites, for instance, Mark Victor Hansen. Just look at his Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books. Essentially each chapter is a story effectively illustrating a point that touches, moves, and inspires its readers.
So you may be tempted to say, well, that’s easy for him, but I’m no Mark Victor Hansen. Now maybe you potentially are or aren’t. However, my point is that this is a very learnable skill. People aren’t born with it. They develop it by continually practicing and honing it.
➌ Sharing Case Studies to Illustrate what's Possible
Case studies are a sure-fire way to give your prospect a mental picture of what’s possible for their business should they engage your help. These are particularly great for those prospects who need to see it themselves to believe it.
Case studies illustrate tangible solutions – they tend to instill a deeper level of confidence in your prospect that you can get it done for them. Essentially, you have a track record of success to draw upon.
When using any or all of the three techniques just discussed, remember that timing and delivery are critical to their success, just like telling a joke. For example, placing a testimonial in your sales letter in just the right spot where you are looking to establish credibility is key to getting your prospect to keep reading.
These techniques can also play a critical role in humanizing your business and its offerings – placing real people behind your messages. For example, instead of pounding a prospect with every possible service, you offer and the features and benefits of each, try using a short story to simplify a complex solution you implemented for a similar customer.
Or how about using a relevant case study in a sales presentation illustrating how your service helped a client with similar needs to the prospect you’re presenting to.
Try integrating these techniques into your everyday marketing and realize the positive residual effects they can bring.