Case studies are powerful tools that help others say things about you that you may not necessarily be able to say about your self.

Case studies are generally: 

  • Story-driven
  • Centered around a specific problem and the resolution of that problem
  • In the neighborhood of 1,500 to 2,500 words

Case studies support the sales process by:

  • Capturing real-world experiences
  • Featuring your biggest champions
  • Providing a proof of concept for prospects and leads

There are some sacred rules to abide by when writing case studies.

Rule 1: Let your clients and customers do the talking. Don't put words in their mouths. It will come off as inauthentic and not genuine. Record what they say during your interview and let that stand. If you didn't get what you want, ask better questions or find another person to interview.

Rule 2: Let the experience of your clients or customers drive the story. Case studies are not an opportunity for you to cram in organizational messaging or try to outline your sales pitch. People read case studies because they want to validate their ideas through the experience of others. If you want a more research based document, move to the white paper.

Rule 3: Always give everyone interviewed a chance to review and approve what you've written.This sounds simple but is often undervalued. Your clients and customers are speaking on your behalf. It only makes sense for you to give them the chance to review what you've written. This isn't just covering your butt; it's building and enhancing trust.

Rule 4: Avoid building a case study around the experience of one client or customer. Ideally, include two to three in the interview process. One experience can easily be discredited as unusual or out of the ordinary. Two is better but still not as strong as three.

An unexpected benefit of a case study is you get a great excuse to connect with some of your biggest champions and give them a chance to share their enthusiasm for you and your product or service with others in a powerful way.

How have case studies benefited your sales process?

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