I am pleased to welcome Casey Hibbard of Compelling Cases Inc. as the Street Smarts Marketing guest blogger.


8 Ways to Build Trust – and Sales – with Real Customer Stories


We’ve all heard it before, “People do business with people they like and trust.”


But trust just isn’t what it used to be.


Not that long ago, we met and did business nearly exclusively face-to-face. A handshake, eye contact and the ability to pick up the product helped establish trust and confidence in making a purchase.


Now, much of business takes place online or on the phone between parties miles, countries or continents apart.


On top of that, studies show consumers today have a record lack of trust in corporations.


Whatever you’re selling, you need new ways of earning buyers’ trust.


What do prospects trust in this climate? Actual anecdotes from other happy customers.


Capturing the experiences of your happiest, most successful customers in case studies and success stories boosts your credibility, educates buyers and shows them the results of what you offer.


Here are 8 ways to use customer stories to bring trust to your sales and marketing:


  1. Your home page – Tease a customer success story right on your home page, and then link to the full story – either a written story or customer video. Change the featured story occasionally.


  1. Teleseminars – Nothing is more powerful than providing an example to make your point. Feature a person or company that reinforces whatever topic you’re presenting.


  1. Blogging – People love to read about other people. Capture a compelling customer example in a story format and highlight that in a relevant blog post. At once, you increase your credibility and give your customer positive exposure.


  1. Conversation – In any conversation with a prospect, drop in a relevant customer anecdote. Choose an example that matches the prospect’s goals and challenges and how you provided a solution.


  1. Newsletters – Run customer stories in e-newsletters that go to prospects and customers.


  1. Proposals – Include a couple of customer stories in a proposal for new business.


  1. Contributed articles – Submit an article featuring a customer success to a publication or website targeted to your audience.


  1. Direct email marketing – Capture the attention of prospects or customers by using a compelling customer story in an email campaign.


Get creative in finding ways to infuse your sales and marketing with the voice of your most successful customers to drive trust – and sales.

Casey Hibbard of Compelling Cases Inc. is author of Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset. For more tips on creating and using customer stories, sign up for a monthly e-tip or the Stories That Sell blog at www.storiesthatsellguide.com.