When you get praise from a client, it’s a gift. What do you do with it?

Having a client who has praised your work is often a rare occurrence for many businesses, and when it happens, it’s important to make the most of the opportunity. Good feedback that you can use is very powerful.

The ideal method of using good feedback from a client is a case study. Essentially a story, a case study works through the problems the client was facing, but more importantly how your solution solved that client’s problem. It instils a personal feel to the situation, which is described through interviews with the client’s staff, and key players within your own organisation.

The great thing is, case studies have no real need to be sales orientated. Written well, they can target the common objections your sales team encounter.

  1. They tell a story that prospects can understand: case studies can provide a tangible picture of other successes, which can remove many objections and build trust with your leads.
  2. They have a long effectiveness life: unlike some marketing collateral, case studies are effective for a long time. They can continue to be used year after year for the product or service being offered.
  3. Cost effective: compared to most other forms of collateral, case studies are very cost effective and can be used online, in trade magazines or even as information packs sent out to clients.
  4. High conversion effectiveness: second only to white papers, case studies are one of the most effective methods of converting a lead into a client.
  5. Quick to produce: compared to many forms of marketing collateral, case studies are relatively quick to produce. The biggest issue is usually getting interviews with busy people.

For many companies, having case studies can make a real difference to long sales cycles and closing deals. Case studies can assist in shortening the usual sale cycle by addressing a prospect’s concerns more effectively than a salesperson could do. Providing easy access to your case studies via your website can have a positive effect on the quality of the leads.

It’s generally best to have case studies done by professionals with interview and storytelling skills, who will be able to create a persuasive document for your company. They can take around 20 hours to put together, while non-professional writers can take up to 50 hours.

From a cost perspective, most companies cannot afford to take key staff out of production for 50 hours, so outsourcing does make better sense.

By using a professional, you can also ensure the case study remains neutral from an emotional perspective. Staff talking to clients about how great they did can often come across as a little overbearing for the client, whereas having someone independent will ensure the client relationship is maintained.

Next time you have a happy client, remember: get a case study put together, and you will benefit from increased sales for years to come.

Karl Rohde is a freelance management advisor.

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