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 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)
Sales isn’t what it used to be. Prospects are more overwhelmed than ever
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
In SNAP Selling, Jill ... (more)
If asked, will customers submit themselves as possible case study or success
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
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)
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)
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)