Stories, in the form of case studies, are vital in making your presentation interesting and personal; they also allow you to have tremendous momentum in connecting with your audience. Keeping an audience’s attention is one thing, but to really have them connect and engage in what you have to say requires great stories that tie back to your offer.
“Those who tell the stories rule the world.”
-- Native American proverb
Needless to say, you should only use the best case studies, testimonials and stories for your presentation. But, what content is the most engaging and coherent to what you intend to propose?
A case study’s purpose is to build relationships through demonstrating the transformation your audience seeks, and proof that you have successfully achieved that for someone just like them. It allows your business to show, not tell, potential customers the benefits of choosing your company.
Here are three criteria to consider when choosing case studies, testimonials and stories for your next sales presentation.
1. Prove your character.
Another must-have criteria is to include in a case study is a character testimonial of you or your team. The last thing a potential client would want is to find out that the team or business they’re working with is superficial to the results they promised.
People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. There may be other products and services out there that can help your audience; they want to know that you personally will be part of the transformation and results that they seek. Your case study should include the clients' personal account of the experience, and the character testimony for you or your team they worked with to gain their results. This solidifies you, in the minds of the audience, as being integral to their own desired transformation.
2. Provide social proof.
Include customer reviews or Yelp reviews as a part of your case study. These aren’t necessarily customized testimonials, but they do give your audience a snapshot of what the general public thinks of your business or services.
You are essentially doing their Google search for them and confirming your positioning in their minds. The positive online reviews you receive will create social proof among your potential clients.
Celebrities or industry leaders can also increase social proof with your audience. Getting a testimonial from an authority figure from your niche will transfer his or her power and influence to you, allowing you to create trust more easily with potential customers. Social proof will eliminate and overcome any buying objections in the audience’s mind.
3. Showcase the speed of results
Lastly, in our world that favors instant gratification, speed of results achieved should be emphasized in your case studies. Provide examples and testimonies of clients that have tried all these other strategies for an extended period until they found you. Elaborate on how these customers have tremendous momentum right away after starting to work with you and your team.
You’ve probably heard it said that money loves speed, so associating your service with the ability to accelerate results is irresistible.
Don’t underestimate the power and the impact of having the right story or stories; you may need to incorporate some of these ingredients into more than one story, to authentically convey all six of them during your presentation. Each story needs to have some element of third-party credibility, whether it’s a quote, a testimonial, an online review or measurable client results. Stick to this formula and your audiences will remember you and your work, based on the stories you shared with them, for years to come.