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Dear Vendor: You’re Not Helping Me Buy from You

 

Last month, we did what we never expected: we bought a fixer-upper home – we, who can change a light bulb but do little else.

Only a few square feet have been updated since our home was built nearly 30 years ago. Ideally, we’d land on some reality-TV show where the renovators would swoop in and fix it all lickety-split while we are on vacation.

I’ll call HGTV. But meanwhile, we’re reaching out to multiple vendors and contractors to tackle a wish-list longer than our block. Yet, we’re barely moving forward.

That’s because we’re trying to wade through a sea of potential vendors who can help, most immediately, with floors and doors. We want to buy but distinguishing one vendor from another is tough and time-sapping.

You know what would help? Some juicy customer stories showing how a vendor provided a positive experience for other homeowners.

But website after website show no sign of the customer’s voice. It’s all “we can do this and that for you.”

Sure, we have sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List, but often, those free-form reviews are not answering the primary questions we have.

What’s it like to work with a vendor? Are they responsive? Are they professional? Are they knowledgeable? Do they do quality work?

Don’t Compete on Price

A vendor-produced customer case study gives a business the unique chance to showcase a customer’s positive experience – and answer the most common questions that potential customers have.

This is how a business competes on something other than price.

Every business needs customer case studies, but I know they compete with other budget dollars. Why not make them part of the website plan? Give the customer’s voice real estate on the website just like you’d design every house with a living room.

Because what the customer says about you is way more credible than what you say about yourself.

How Do You Get Started?

1.    Start small - If you’ve never captured the customer’s voice before, start small. Approach three happy customers about being featured. Set realistic goals at the outset, such as creating story-based testimonials or short success stories – maybe just three paragraphs.
2.    Follow the story format – Keep interview questions simple and follow the standard format of covering the challenge (what the customer was trying to solve), solution (how YOU solved it), and results (the positive outcomes of working with the product, service or company).
3.    Get approval – Write your testimonials or customer stories and send them to customers for review, edits and approval.

Now, get going. Help customers buy from you!

The post Dear Vendor: You’re Not Helping Me Buy from You appeared first on Stories That Sell.

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More Stories By Casey Hibbard

Casey Hibbard is the founder and president of Compelling Cases, Inc. and author of "Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset." She has helped dozens of companies create and manage nearly 500 customer case studies and success stories over the past decade. Casey is featured in numerous books, articles, and teleclasses. She consults with organizations one-on-one and conducts online customer-story classes.

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