If you own a small to medium size construction business, then you probably don’t have a huge budget for marketing/advertising. What if I told you there’s a way around the expense of it all? Placing carefully constructed client success stories in your company materials can get you more leads. All you have to do is ask a few questions after you’ve completed a project for your client and have them recall the process and how you solved all their problems. Doing this builds the confidence of prospective clients with entrusting their projects.
Here’s what you need to know about putting together success stories that can get you more leads.
Benefits of Success Stories
These engaging stories are meant to influence the decision of prospective clients by shining light on the work you’ve done for a client. They highlight the positive reviews of your clients’ interaction with your company and how you’ve helped solve a problem via the services you offer. A sense of credibility is achieved when you let your customers tell their own story.
Using success stories as a marketing tool is more effective than a generic boilerplate statement because a personal review of your services from your client is more meaningful. These case studies will help you stand out from your competitors as future clients get to know the ins and outs of your business.
Where Should You Place Success Stories
The key to using success stories to their greatest potential is to make sure they are visible almost everywhere within company materials. Case studies give potential clients a peek into your day-to-day on a work site and gives them an idea of what to expect.
Here are a few places where you can start adding your success stories:
- Add client success stories to proposals and RFQ (Request for Quotation) as a way to validate your services.
- Add them to your company’s website.
- Include a PDF copy of success stories into your portfolio.
- Make a success story key points slide presentation. You can also add these key points into a hardcopy of your portfolio.
- Try to include a few client success stories when creating press releases and advertisements.
- Feature the best quotes from the stories in all your company’s communications.
- Use these success stories when presenting at industry conferences or trade shows.
Creating Your Success Stories
When it comes to creating your success stories, you must first decide if you want to take on the task of writing them or if you’d rather hire a professional writer to do so. Your next step is to identify past clients who are not only willing, but also have the time to sit down with you and/or the writer to talk about their experience with your company. If you decide to hire a writer, then make them familiar with your company’s mission and goals and what exactly you’d like to highlight within the piece.
Try to have a set list of interview questions to make sure that all the main points are not overlooked. You, or maybe your marketing manager/department (if applicable), will review the copy to ensure the message is communicated properly. Remember, these success stories can get you more leads, so take the time to ensure all the information is accurate. You also have the option of having the writer prepare different versions of the copy, e.g., executive summary or bulleted list of main points appropriate for a PowerPoint. This way, no matter what your marketing needs are for the piece, you already have it prepped and ready to go.
Tip: Essential elements of a good success story write up include: who the customer was, what issues they faced, how your company helped solve those issues and what the resolution looked like. Also, a more casual tone is best for all case studies as it gives potential clients the impression that you are approachable and easy to work with.
It’s important to note that if your business helped boost the success of your clients’ business, then highlight that within the case study. This will persuade potential clients to choose you over your competitors because they have proof of what your business can do for others.
The Cost of Success Stories
A one-page write up can cost you anywhere between $500 and $1,500. Bigger companies requiring highly technical write ups may need to pay more than that. You also need to factor in the cost of the writer gathering background information, whether that was an interview with your client or a strategy meeting with your marketing department.
Get a writer’s rate up front. Compare the cost of paying someone per hour or simply a flat rate and make the best decision based on your budget and/or your company’s needs.
Publishing carefully constructed success stories show off your abilities as a contractor, differentiates you from the competition and persuades prospective clients to choose you.
How have success stories helped your business gain leads? Tell us in the comments below.
This article was written by Dorcy Castillo.