Case studies and testimonials

Case studies have long been a staple of consultants' proposals and, more recently, their Web sites. But many clients breeze right by them, believing them to be self-serving, puffed-up promotions of consultants' accomplishments. As a result, case studies have become an anemic tool for winning client work, instead of the powerhouse-marketing tool they could be.

Include links on your Web site to case studies for your most challenging and successful assignments. Make it easy for visitors to download them. These documents can answer the number one question clients ask consultants: How will your team work with our team to achieve the results we need? Case studies also clarify approaches, strategies, and resources that you have successfully employed on other projects.

Infuse the materials that you post on your site with a sense of the challenges and obstacles involved. Explain what, why, and how you and the client attacked issues. Always stress that the solutions came from working together.

Keep case studies short—no longer than one or two pages. For each case study, name the client company, if possible. Some clients prefer confidentiality, and you must honor that trust. But case studies have more punch if the company is named, instead of being referred to as a "large, industry-leading plumbing supply client." Exclude the name of your contact in the client's company, but be willing to disclose it in response to inquiries.

Seven Elements of a Guerrilla Case Study

1.

Tsll a story; don't just list facts.

2.

Place the client's success, not yours, at the center of the

story.

3.

Define the problem the client faced and your role in solving

the problem.

4.

Describe how you worked with the client's team to achieve

results.

5.

Don't overstate results.

B.

Keep it short.

7.

Provide access to references whenever possible.

Include a limited number of testimonials on your site. Instead of an extensive testimonial section, post a list of all your clients and let visitors select whomever they wish to call. They can give you the names they select and you can arrange for the calls. Testimonials are of questionable value because everyone knows you won't let them near a bad reference. However, visitors expect to see them on your site and some will still be impressed by notable names on your list.

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