Powerful Case Studies: Buying Decisions Are Made at the Intersection of Insight and Customer Stories

By Laura MacPherson

Everyone is drawn to a good story. Why? We love to imagine ourselves as the protagonist, overcoming the odds and winning. Stories are inspiring. Stories help us understand how the world works. Ultimately, stories give us clues about how to solve our own problems in the real world.

And stories are attractive because they’re concrete. They’re visual, easily pictured in the mind’s eye. We all would much rather learn through a story than through a lecture.

Prospects Learn Through Stories Too

But the power of stories goes much deeper. Psychologists believe that stories have served humans in their quest for survival since the earliest of times — our species has used storytelling to warn and learn of dangers in the world around us. Storytelling is a part of our primal psyche.

In 2010, neuroscientists at Princeton University discovered the ability of stories to “sync” the brains of storytellers and their listeners. The fMRI imaging revealed that when one person told a story to another, both individuals’ brains displayed nearly identical activity across most areas. This phenomenon was repeated with each of the pairs in the study.

Is it any wonder than stories sell better than a list of facts?

Illuminating Insight Makes Stories Produce Buying Behavior

Many marketers and salespeople have realized that storytelling plays an important part in gaining new customers, so they’re using case studies and customer stories in their marketing and sales conversations.

But not just any story has the ability to motivate a prospect to buy now, and buy from your company rather than a competitor. There are two traps that marketers and salespeople fall into when telling customer stories: not understanding the danger of the status quo, and not truly differentiating their product/service’s value.

To result in a purchase, a story has to illuminate the cost of the status quo and the benefits of change as well as demonstrate that the prospects’ pain cannot be truly solved with any solution other than yours. Let’s look at each of these requirements and how to use them to boost the effectiveness of your case studies.

1. Reveal the Cost of the Status Quo

Different studies show that 60-70% of enterprise sales opportunities end with the prospect not making a decision. The status quo is your biggest competition for two main reasons:

  • Time Scarcity: Today’s companies are operating “lean and mean” — there’s more work and fewer people to get the work done. Prospects are stressed about everything that they need to accomplish in the time that they have available, and it’s easy to put off buying decisions that take up additional time.
  • Loss Aversion: We are all wired to avoid loss. We fear making buying decisions because it involves risk: a potential for loss.

If your customer stories are going to result in a purchase by the listener, they have to clearly communicate why the status quo is so terrible. Your case studies need to bring prospects to the realization that the risk of keeping the status quo is worse than the Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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