Sales Training for Sales Professionals and Entrepreneurs
There’s a popular saying in sales that “Facts tell, stories sell.” It’s simple and true! You will persuade buyers more often by telling about happy clients than numbers and charts. This principle has been proven through the discovery of “social proof”1, whereby people look to others for evidence of something being good and trustworthy. However, if you are going to use case studies effectively, there are certain factors to keep in mind. Today I will share three considerations to teach you how to use case studies to increase sales:
How to use case studies: Use Structure & Logic
My first tip for you is to document your client’s case study. You will want to follow a simple structure under these three headings:
- Before – what problem was your client experiencing? (Or, what goal were they pursuing?)
- Intervention – what did you put into place?
- After – what was the end result? Spend most of your writing space here!
Use facts and figures to support your case study, as this will help build the business case for your proposal. That said, make sure you can properly justify the numbers. Resist overstating your impact by providing conservative estimates where concrete numbers are unavailable.
How to use case studies: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Master public speakers will tell you that the best way to improve speaking skills is… Well, by speaking!2 Naturally, the same principle applies to storytelling. My tip for you is to practice telling your case study enough times that you can do so without referring to notes. Find colleagues or family members you can practice with. Remember that great orators sound natural because they have practiced over and over!
How to use case studies: Use Emotion
A great story encapsulates and exudes emotions. If you have rehearsed your story thoroughly, it frees your mind from the technical part of delivery and frees you to be more expressive. The emotional appeal of your case study will be amplified by using colourful metaphors. Here are some examples:
- They were haemorrhaging clients to competitors because of their poor service.
- As soon as we started work with them, the team was practically jumping for joy!
- The client was swarmed with new leads!
Authenticity is key to using emotions in case studies. You must genuinely be excited about the outcomes you have brought your clients. If you your company is focused on improving the lives of others rather than profits, your message will be congruent with your true feelings.
Take Action! How to use case studies
If your first few attempts at sharing your case-studies fall flat, don’t despair! Storytelling is a skill that needs to be developed and refined over time. Don’t forget to appeal to your prospects’ logic AND emotions, and practice, practice, practice. Prospects will be grateful for it!
1 Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini, 2009
2 Public Speaking for Success, Dale Carnegie, 2006