Calming the Skeptics with Content
When researching product/service vendors, most buyers are not only evaluating the features and benefits of your solution, they’re also looking for information that will squash any worries or skepticisms that might be lurking in their brains. Identifying and addressing common skepticisms within your website, blog and email content can be a key factor in getting your company on the short list of potential vendors.
A while back, I listened to Sean D’Souza talk on an episode of DishyMix about his ebook, “The Secret Life of Testimonials”, and I was fascinated to learn about his simple approach to getting great testimonials from your customers. His approach includes six specific questions that have been finely tuned to help you capture the concept of a “reverse testimonial”. Instead of the testimonial leading with praise, you actually identify and address the worries or skepticisms that a buyer had in their head prior to hiring you. Then the rest of the testimonial tells the customer’s story of how your product/service squashed that fear and delivered a great outcome.
Translating Skepticisms to Content
As I thought about this concept more, I realized that the fears and skepticisms of buyers is the perfect recipe for website, blog and email content. We talk a lot about buyer needs, wants and pain points, but worries and skepticisms are a different animal. Let’s use potential Divvy customers as an example. Here are some of the fears that we hear a lot:
- “Our content marketing program and workflow processes are pretty complex and I worry that a tool like this won’t be flexible enough…”
- “Our small team loves Divvy, but I worry about how to best roll it out to our entire organization.”
- “Our content is highly sensitive, so I’m worried about the level of security that your application provides.”
Each of these fears has content implications, whether they are in the form of videos that demonstrate the flexibility of the application, organization-wide implementation guides or a security guidelines document (respectively). Having content ready to go when/if these fears come up, or simply when a prospect is browsing your website, is a powerful step towards landing your next customer.
Putting This into Practice
So, where should you start? How should you go about identifying customer skepticisms? Here are a few practical ways:
- Schedule a Pow-wow with Your Sales Team – Sales people are on the front lines of your organization and they will probably be able to rattle off a list of skepticisms, fears and worries that they hear on a regular basis. Capture that list, organize them based on your buyer profiles and add them within your profile/persona documentation.
- Customer Surveys & Interviews – As the old saying goes…”If you don’t know, ask.” Sean D’Souza talks through his six questions in the DishyMix episode I mentioned above, so you can listen or grab his ebook here. Create a survey or interview questionnaire and start contacting customers. If your sales team or account managers are on board, remind them to go through the questionnaire on their next customer phone call. Record the conversations if possible. Certainly outsourcing this initiative is also an option.
- Great Social Engagement Fodder – Do you have an engaged customer following? Ask them to share their skepticisms and tell their story via Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube.
- Translate to Content – With all of these new stories, angles and insights in hand, work them into your content strategy and editorial plan. Figure out the best way to package, present and integrate these assets into your website and existing content marketing vehicles.
Oh…And you’ll get a bunch of great testimonials too!
Obviously, the output of all this is great customer testimonials. And I don’t know about you, but we can always use more of those! The key is to understand that the skepticisms and fears of your customers are probably not unique. Turning them into content that can work for you on the front end of your funnel may make your life a lot easier, and move prospects to the next step in your funnel…a SALE!
(Image Source: Skeptical 3rd World Kid Meme via Reddit)