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Casey Hibbard

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Top Stories by Casey Hibbard

I'm a big proponent of what I call "win-win storytelling" in customer case studies and success stories. The company creating the customer story has to benefit, as does the featured customer. The key - especially for landing big-name customers for customer stories - is finding what motivates each customer (on an individual, departmental or company level). Simply reminding the customer they receive free publicity may not be enough. In just the past two weeks, I've worked on several stories with interesting customer motivators behind them: -       A civil engineer is enthusiastic about being featured because it showcases his own success on a major project (and he used my client's software to do so). Nice addition to his resume! -       An IT department participated because it wants to highlight its innovative best practices publicly. -       And a marketing department... (more)

Ode to the Sound Bite in Customer Case Studies

Mark Twain is said to have called it, "a minimum of sound to a maximum of sense." Who else could so perfectly provide such a sound bite describing sound bites? If a customer story is the most powerful evidence of a customer's experience, then the customer's own quoted comments are the jewels in that crown. They sparkle and stand out above the rest of the story. Often, it's all the viewer or reader may remember, so they better be good. In Writing In a written customer case study or success story, sound bites are best highlighted as "pull quotes." They are literally pulled out of th... (more)

Help Nonprofits Sell Better with Stories

If you heard that a certain type of fox is endangered, would you be moved to act? How about if you heard that a mama fox was trying to keep herself and her litter safe as their forest disappears? Now that's different. There's a story there with actual individuals being affected. Such was the storyline for a campaign by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which told a universal tale of survival to communicate about the kit fox problem in Northern California. Information in the context of a story is dramatically more compelling than straight facts. Yet, many nonprofits fail to tell... (more)

Getting Short-Listed & Winning Work: Include Case Studies in Each Proposal

It's clear that customer case studies and success stories are integral to the sales process. But how many organizations actually use them in every proposal? According to Robyn Haydon, Australian proposal-writing expert and author of the book The Shredder Test, companies don't integrate customer evidence nearly enough in actual sales proposals. But those that do, see the payoff. "I know that a lot of my clients get short-listed because they have pushed hard to include evidence in their proposals, and case studies are really part of that," she said. How do you bring your customer ... (more)

Will Customers Nominate Themselves as Stories?

If asked, will customers submit themselves as possible case study or success story candidates?  From consumer-products companies to B2B to nonprofit organizations, many now actively solicit stories with self-service “Share Your Story” links on their Web sites. Apple created a link for this soon after the release of its wildly popular iPhone. FileMaker software includes a link to “Tell us your story.” Girl Scouts of the USA asks former members to share their experiences for its alumnae program. And Toyota Motor Sales gather owners' stories and gets usage permission through an o... (more)