Using Case Studies to Overcome Objections

Using Case Studies to Overcome Objections
Stephanie Tilton - Mon Mar 30, 2009 @ 04:46AM
Comments: 14

B2B companies typically produce case studies to show how a customer benefited by using their solution. But most organizations miss out on another valuable way to leverage these tools. Here's a simple way case studies can help your sales team overcome objections early in the sales cycle. Questions

I recently listened in on an AIPMM-sponsored webinar called Get Inside Your Customer's Head! The presenter was Steve Rankel of Product180. (If you're not familiar with Steve, check him out. He's a master at developing killer value propositions and sales messages, and his site offers lots of useful tools.)

Steve's presentation focused on interviewing customers to figure out your value proposition. The main idea was to use this information to refine your positioning. But what really caught my attention was when Steve talked about using customer experiences to help address prospect objections.

First you need to understand why your customers' were initially skeptical of your offering. Let's assume your company is Docs-R-Us and sells document management software. Perhaps during interviews, you discover that many of your customers were initially hesitant because your solution is offered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. Companies were concerned that users without Internet connections would be unable to access electronic files – a fear reinforced by their talks with other SaaS providers.

If enough of your customers shared this concern, you've got good reason to try to preempt the objection before it scares off other potential customers. Find out what turned these customers' views around. In this case, let's assume it's the fact that you enable users to access files while offline. Then present a story that highlights one customer's concern with this issue and why your offering ultimately won them over. Instead of producing a case study entitled Docs-R-Us Helps XZY Corporation Locate Records in Half the Time, you could publish one entitled Assessing Your Document Management Options: Why All Software-as-a-Service Offerings Are Not Equal.

Sure, you could produce a stand-alone piece that addresses this concern. But case studies are often a more powerful way to convey your message – after all, prospects tend to believe the veracity of statements made by other customers.

Do you use case studies to overcome objections in the sales process? If so, share your tips and experiences.

Read more Savvy B2B posts from Stephanie.

Comments: 14


1. Jamie Wallace  |  my website   |   Sat Apr 04, 2009 @ 04:40AM

Stephanie, I love the concept of this idea ... listening to customers to understand their needs/fears in a great deal of depth and then tailoring a marketing response that speaks directly to those needs/fears.
As someone very interested in both the listening opportunities afforded by various social media venues and the school of LFPD (learning first product development), your suggestions ring true on many levels.
The fact is, the customer really is always right. If a business learns to listen and leverage what they hear, their marketing will improve in leaps and bounds.

2. Stephanie Tilton  |  my website   |   Mon Apr 06, 2009 @ 03:14AM

Jamie - Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You're right - by giving prospects/customers exactly what they're seeking during the early phases of the buying process, marketers can help move things along that much more quickly. I haven't seen this approach employed very often. It will be interesting to see if more companies start adopting it.


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