A client showed me a two minute video they had developed for their prospects. The video showed their existing partners talking to camera about the value and results they had obtained from my client.
The video worked well because in only two minutes (brevity is good) it said, and demonstrated, more than any business developer could ever say to convince someone of why they should participate in the opportunity.
Suggestion: capture your clients and partners talking positively about the experience and outcomes you have delivered for them. Use it in approaches to obtain a meeting, at the start of meetings to get their immediate buy in and attention, or at the end of pitches as evidence.
Another way to use proof in pitches is to take each of your prospect’s needs in turn and say:
- This is what we did for a partner or client with a similar challenge to you
- This was our approach and rationale at the time
- This was the result
- This is how that experience informs our approach to solving your problem
- This is our suggested approach and solution for you
- What are your thoughts?
Then move on to address their second and third objective etc
The key in this process is to address your prospect’s needs in turn, providing them with solutions and most importantly showing them evidence – proof – that you are the organisation to solve each of their problems.
Obtain your prospect’s reaction to each solution you propose; this will allow you to address any questions and gauge whether your proposal has hit the spot.
Suggestion: find a proof point for each of your solutions to each of your prospect’s needs
Case studies and testimonials make great proof points.
A testimonial from a credible person or organisation can go a long way to building trust and credibility in the eyes of someone who has little or no experience of you. Ask for testimonials that describe not only the experience of working with you, but, more importantly, the problems you addressed, the solutions you proposed and the results that were obtained. Quantify the results where possible.
Here are examples of helpful testimonials:
We had a real problem with motivation in the team. Jane worked with us over a number of months to understand the causes, then developed and implemented a tailored program that addressed the core issues. As a direct result of Jane’s work, the team is now significantly more focused and engaged, and sales are up 25% year on year. We are now working with Jane on rolling the program out across the organisation. Jane is incredibly professional and I highly recommend her services
The volunteering day was incredibly well run and inspiring for everyone that attended. Participants in the program have a significantly higher employee net promoter score. As a result, we will be looking to double the number of employees we put through the program next year
If you are going to use a testimonial make sure you include the name and organisation (and where appropriate the title) of the person giving the testimonial. Testimonials which don’t provide the name of the person giving the testimonial, only the name of the company, don’t give confidence. A testimonial from J.P. from Texas or N.R from London does not inspire the required level of trust and confidence either.
Use testimonials from an identifiable person and company ideally in the same industry as your prospect.
The venue was fantastic. Our clients said it was the best venue they had been to and the staff made everything so easy for us. We will be back next year
John Smith, Marketing Manager, ABCD Appliances
Such a testimonial is much more likely to attract your prospects than saying:
We have 20 years’ experience in running events
That just proves that you are about 40 years old!
The key with testimonials is to ask for them, not wait for them to come to you. You could be waiting a long time.
Make sure the person you ask to provide a testimonial is someone that you are 100% comfortable with being approached by one of your prospects should they wish to delve further.
Suggestion: Ask for testimonials from your best clients and partners