Businesses Soothe Nervous Buyers with Tales of Happy Customers

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Increasingly, businesses leverage their customer success stories in their sales, marketing and PR, helping give buyers the confidence and assurance to make purchases. The new book, "Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset," shows businesses how to use Success-Story Marketing to shorten the sales cycle, open doors to bigger accounts and land media coverage.

When business owner Linda McCulloch wanted to set her marketing and creative firm apart from the competition and encourage potential clients to buy, she turned to her satisfied customers to say it for her.

"I don't like to blow my own horn excessively, so I felt that if I could get my clients to blow my horn for me that that would be more convincing to potential clients," said McCulloch, owner of Atlanta-based Design That Works.

Design That Works is just one of countless businesses today leveraging success stories on their happy customers to boost credibility, educate buyers and demonstrate results.

"Customer success stories are not a new concept, but they've reached new levels in recent years," said Casey Hibbard, author of the new book, Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset. "Increasingly, buyers are craving credible sources of information in an age of greater competition and skepticism, and less face-to-face business. Authentic stories about other customers' experiences give buyers insight into how a product or service will work for them and the confidence to make purchases."

In fact, a survey by Bridge Ratings and the University of Massachusetts ("Trusted Sources of Information according to US Consumers," 2007) indicates that consumers trust "strangers with experience" a close second after friends, family, and acquaintances--coming in ahead of the media, bloggers and a vendor's own advertising.

"When budgets and bank accounts shrink, buyers become more risk-averse. They want to know that their investment will pay off, whether it's choosing a family financial planner or $100,000 enterprise software," Hibbard said. "Going beyond the age-old testimonial, customer success stories and case studies allow a business to draw customers into a story, and show actual results."

McCulloch captured the success stories of a number of the firm's clients, and featured them on her web site, in direct mail postcards, in conversations with potential clients--and even in a booklet that replaced her traditional company brochure. Time and again, she finds those customer stories catch the attention of her audience, helping generate awareness and interest, and close sales.

"Design That Works uses Success-Story Marketing in all its communications, which not only showcases the firm, but gives its clients positive exposure as well. It's win-win," Hibbard added.

Media: Please contact author for interviews or review copies. Visit the Media Room at for cover art, author photo, sample chapter, table of contents, and more. The book, Stories That Sell, retails for $19.95 and can be purchased at, on, and at 800-247-6553.


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