Knowing how to write a success story is a skill EVERY business owner needs to have. An effective success story is a great way to generate referrals for your business. If you have a success story, and nobody ever knows about it; is it still a success story? OK… I know it’s a play off of ‘if a tree falls in the woods…’, but hear me out. Business owners like you experience successes every day with their clients, but are not leveraging that success, because they don’t know how to write a success story!
In this post and the next, I will share:
1. How to write a success story
2. What to do with a success story once you write it.
3. The power in sharing a success story.
With that out of the way, you’re on your way to learning how to write a success story in 7 steps!
Step 1 – State the problem
Share the situation that the client/customer was facing. Stating the problem provides the ‘rest of the story’. Here’s an example:
John was overweight and under-exercised. He had back problems, and had gone through 5 different doctors. He was taking expensive pain meds that he could no longer afford, and was spending way too much of his life in doctors’ offices.
Step 2 – What is the worst thing that could have happened
Feed the need for drama by sharing the worst case scenario for the customer. Example continued:
John could have accepted his current lifestyle as his fate. He would have to continue to sacrifice his lifestyle to take pain medications just to get through his day. He would have had to visit his doctor every 6 months for follow-up evaluations that weren’t changing.
Step 3 – WHAT YOU DID
Further engage your reader by showing how you swooped in and ‘saved the day’ without talking about you at all! Check this out:
We met at John’s kitchen table. John explained that he worked 75 hours per week, and he admitted that he doesn’t like vegetables very much. John’s wife said his favorite meal was fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and homemade rolls.
We were able to:
Develop a non-gym exercise plan that John could implement immediately.
Create a meal plan for John to follow.
Set a realistic weight loss goal
Are you seeing how to write a success story that tells what you did without putting the focus on you at all? This story is all about John!
Step 4 – The Result
Tell what happened! Self-explanatory.
After implementing the plan, John lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks! His back problems were going away, and he was able to cut his medication dose in half!
Step 5 – What did the customer say or do to let you know you had done well
You’ve heard that testimonials are powerful. If you know how to write a success story, it is 10 times more powerful than a testimony. Customers who are EXTREMELY pleased with the service they received will tell everybody they know. Include the client testimonial in your success story, as it drives the point home. Also share if the client referred someone else to you. That’s power on steroids!
John mailed a picture of him and his wife on the beach. He wrote on the back, ‘thanks for giving me my life back.’ John has since referred his brother and a friend to me, both who were having the same kind of problem he was.
Don’t write a success story, and then ruin it by saying, ‘Send me a referral’. Simply asking some questions will start the wheels turning in your readers’ brain. Always ask open-ended questions. Ask ‘who do you know’, not ‘do you know’ .
Who do you know that is struggling with back pain? Who do you know that wants to lose weight, but needs direction? –Could be a neighbor, or coworker, or perhaps a relative.
Step 7 – Call To Action
I really believe that if you mess up everything else, and get this part right, you’re better off than having a great letter and no call to action. Tell your readers what you want them to do. Does it guarantee they’ll do it? No. BUT, there is no doubt for the reader that you want them to do something.
Reply to this email with their name and situation. I promise they will get the service they deserve.
I learned how to write a success story by reading 7L: The Seven Levels Of Communication by Michael J. Maher.
Leave a comment if you think knowing how to write a success story is valuable! I highly encourage you to read the book!