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Casey Hibbard

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Top Stories by Casey Hibbard

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 the text and featured larger somewhere in the story. Most readers are actually skimmers. If they read nothing else, they should take away value from those pull quotes. In a typical two-page case study, choose a couple of your very best customer quotes to enlarge as your pull quotes - with at l... (more)

Today’s Prospects Evaluate You on These 4 Criteria

Sales isn’t what it used to be. Prospects are more overwhelmed than ever before. They’re pulled in a dozen different directions at any time, challenging them to actually get anything done. They don’t have time to listen to a sales pitch, even if they know they need to make a change. That’s the basis for Jill Konrath’s new book, SNAP Selling. Since reading Jill’s first book, Selling to Big Companies, I’ve been a fan. I even interviewed her for my book, Stories That Sell. Unlike many sales gurus, she focuses on buyers’ mindsets and how to work within them. In SNAP Selling, Jill ... (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)

The Ugly Duckling of Case Studies – The “Not-for-Public-Use” Story

    I have a not-quite-two-year-old, and thus, spend a lot of time reading nursery rhymes and fairly tales. Most of these catchy or intriguing little stories pre-date our great-great-grandparents, but the lessons are still valid today. Take the story of the Ugly Duckling, a tale released by Hans Christian Andersen in 1843. The ugly duckling, which was mocked when young, grew up to be the most beautiful swan of them all. In the case study world, non-public customer stories are perceived as an ugly duckling of what we do. When you can't post it on your website, spin it into a pr... (more)

A Winning Strategy for Landing Big-Name Customer Stories

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 a... (more)