Stories that Sell

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Kronos Spotlights Dozens of Customers through Expanded Reference Program

Stories that Sell

"We went from recognizing six customers through the Best Practices Awards Program in 2008 to 37 in 2009 and then 62 in 2010." The book Stories that Sell , and a recent blog post here , lauded Kronos Incorporated for its Best Practices Awards Program, an annual program to recognize customers that achieve value and success with Kronos solutions. Check this out.). "In

Why Companies Need to F-R-E-E Their Case Studies

Stories that Sell

A small software company recently ran an experiment… The company, which had been requiring registration to download its customer case studies, decided to unlock those stories on their website. Site visitors could read or download stories freely, without having to provide any information. The results were pretty shocking. So what content should be "curtained?" The Search Engine Effect.

The 3 Can’t-Miss Pieces of Any Consulting Case Study

Stories that Sell

In the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz , Dorothy and the group finally arrive at Oz only to learn that the great Wizard is only a man running controls behind a curtain. It’s not any sort of magic afterall. When companies sell consulting services, there’s a similar dynamic; they promise lots of great end results but really, what’s going on behind the curtain? Approach. The Outcome.

Getting Measurable Results on the Hard-to-Measure

Stories that Sell

In customer case studies and success stories, specific results impress. But not every product or service is easy to measure. Coaches, consultants and other service providers, for example, often provide services that lend themselves to qualitative benefits, rather than measurable. If you think you can’t measure what you do, there’s hope.

Case Studies: Start with the Story’s End

Stories that Sell

Every day, we encounter new stories – on TV, in books, movies and magazines, and in discussions with others. Nearly all of them build toward an end result, which isn’t clear until you arrive there. But in marketing, leading with the outcome gets the attention of distracted audiences. Here are two ways to lead with the end result in your customer stories: The headline. An Intro Summary.

Copywriters: Homework Makes You a Better Case Study Writer

Stories that Sell

Copywriters: Today’s the first day back to school where I live. Neighborhood kids are donning their new backpacks, books and shoes. Homework isn’t just for school kids. Now’s the perfect time to talk about the studying you have to do as a case study copywriter. Say you’ve just signed a new client for case studies. How do you get started? By being studious. The risk?

Customer References Trim the Sales Cycle

Stories that Sell

Customer case studies pull major weight among your marketing and sales materials. But they are just one way that a customer can serve as a reference for a business. Customer stories fall under the bigger umbrella of customer reference activities, which can involve anything from taking a phone call from a prospect, speaking to an analyst or agreeing to a press release. Moreoever, they are 2.5

The ‘Tell ‘Em, Tell ‘Em, Tell ‘Em’ Approach to Case Studies

Stories that Sell

Ever heard this popular expression regarding presentations? "Tell "Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. And then tell them what you told them." " Or something along those lines. Why should we repeat ourselves? Because people have short attention spans. By repeating, audiences hopefully go away having heard your most important points at least once, if not more.

Customer Presented on Your Behalf? Do More with a Live Case Study

Stories that Sell

This week, two PowerPoint presentations came my way. My clients’ happy customers had actually presented these decks in live case studies (either in person or on a webinar). How fantastic is that – a customer willing to talk to an audience about success with your products and services? That’s about as good as it gets. Ask for permission upfront. Not true. The presenter adds that.

Case Study Copywriters: Where’s Your Cheat Sheet?

Stories that Sell

Customer case studies just aren’t like other marketing projects. With a brochure, data sheet or white paper, marketing managers can usually mark the calendar for when to begin. But as much as they target a certain number of case studies or success stories a month or quarter, starting still depends on if and when the customer is ready. And sometimes that’s a LONG time to wait. Share

Selling More to Current Fans with Case Studies

Stories that Sell

You’ve probably heard most of these stats before. Current customers are significantly more valuable than new customers. Acquiring a new customer costs 5 to 10 times more than retaining one. A 5 percent increase in retention yields profit increases of 25 to 100 percent. Repeat customers spend 67 percent more, on average. Twenty percent of customers account for 80 percent of total revenues.

3 Tips for Finding Your Next Case Study Customer

Stories that Sell

Several times a week, an appeal for funds from a charity (or alma mater) arrives in my mailbox or inbox. The same organizations contact me over and over. It’s annoying, but if they don’t ask for contributions, they usually don’t get them. That’s just how it works. We have too much going through our heads. To start, make sure your wish list is current and specific. E-mail.

86,552 Views of a Single Case Study

Stories that Sell

For those who doubt the draw of a customer case study online, here’s your proof. One Microsoft case study, posted online just four months ago, has racked up 86,552 total views. Listed among its most viewed case studies, the Outback Steakhouse case study describes how the restaurant chain used a Microsoft solution for a Facebook campaign. Include them with product information.

Today’s Prospects Evaluate You on These 4 Criteria

Stories that Sell

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.

Putting Social Media Theory into Practice – Learn from 171 Authors

Stories that Sell

About three years ago, a conversation between an American and an Australian – who have never met face to face – planted a seed. " I was fortunate to have the chance to contribute. Here’s an excerpt from my section, titled, "The Stories Customers Tell: 4 Ways to Boost Your Positive Online Buzz." " The best part of Age of Conversation 3 ? Check it out.

Customer Case Studies: The “Maybe” Language Legal Loves

Stories that Sell

In the world of customer stories, "legal" just might be our arch nemesis. Where marketers look for strong, absolute endorsement statements from customers, legal reviewers at vendor and customer companies prefer muddier terms. The language legal likes isn’t the clean and action-oriented phrasing marketers and copywriters have been taught to use. It’s understandable. Wow, huh?

What Missing from This Ad?

Stories that Sell

Walking through the Denver airport last week, I couldn’t help but notice the cute dog on this wall ad. After admiring the dog, I realized the Xerox ad features a customer, Target. Xerox showcases its relationship with Target, indicating the company provides customized direct mail programs for the retailer. While Xerox uses what I would call customer marketing – featuring customers – the ad doesn’t quite achieve Success-Story Marketing. For this reason, it works on some levels, but doesn’t go as far as it could. 2- The ad actually lacks results. What do you think?

Customer Stories Actually RELIEVE Your Best Customers

Stories that Sell

"I’m so glad we’re finally doing this interview because maybe I won’t have to take as many calls." " That’s an actual quote from a customer being interviewed for a case study. Across all the projects I’ve done, I’ve heard this several times from customers. Imagine how many thought that but didn’t say it? Add this to the list of motivators for customers to be featured in case studies. Customers, even the ones that love the vendor the most, have their limits when it comes to taking time to be a reference. It’s "reference fatigue."

Nuture Leads – Feature Customers on Webinars

Stories that Sell

This morning, a perfect example of customer case studies in action arrived in my inbox. The subject line reads: "Webinar – How IGN Entertainment Increased Self-Service Rates to Over 90% Using Parature Customer Service Software." " One of my clients, Parature , is taking a case study a step further by having a happy customer speak about her experience using the software. Once again, the power of letting the customer say it for you shines through. It provides credibility, education and validation. Case Studies for Lead Gen/Nurturing. " But which first?

A No-Cost Teleclass for Case Study Writers

Stories that Sell

Copywriters: Want to make more money with case studies? Then your stories HAVE to SELL. Join me on Wednesday, September 8 at 9 PDT/12 EDT for a no-cost, one-hour teleclass : For Case Study Copywriters: 8 Secrets for Writing Stories That Sell ( More ). In this one-hour call, you’ll take away tips to help you create better case studies and be more valuable to your clients or company: The #1 way to "wow" your client or boss – What questions can you ask your client so you deliver more on-target stories? Do you know what to look for and how to write a story that competes?

Customer Success Stories Show You Solve Problems for Customers

Stories that Sell

Last week, the Hubspot blog ran a story with lessons from the MarketingProfs B2B Forum, "27 Marketing Lessons B2B Marketers Should Know." " I picked up some fresh new tips and important reminders. You can accomplish several of the lessons with the help of customer case studies and success stories. Here’s one of the lessons and how customer stories tie in… "Solve problems for customers, and leverage marketing to demonstrate these solutions." " Isn’t that why you’re in business, to solve problems for customers, no matter what you sell? The best way?

Teleseminar for Coaches, Consultants and Solopreneurs – Weds, May 19

Stories that Sell

If you’re a coach, consultant or solopreneur, you’ll want to join this one-hour, no-cost call on Wednesday, May 19. You may be one of the most experienced professionals in your field but if you can’t convincingly convey credibility to potential customers, then you may not win the client. How do you set yourself apart and convey credibility? Customer success stories. Show that you deliver what your marketing messages promise by showcasing the experiences of your happiest, most satisfied clients. Learn more or sign up now. Share: Tags: Uncategorized teleseminar on case studies

Radio Interview: The Why and How of Customer Success Stories

Stories that Sell

This week I was honored to be interviewed by Wayne Hurlbert on his Blog Business Success radio show. Now on demand, the one-hour interview covers the role of customer success stories in building trust and sales. We also get into the steps to take in creating customer stories, interview tips, and ways to get customers to say yes to being featured. Check it out. Hurlbert also reviewed my book, Stories That Sell , on his Blog Business World blog. Find the full review here. Share: Tags: Case studies in the sales process Value of Customer Stories customer case studies customer success stories

Top-10 B2B Marketing Topics of 2010

Everything Technology Marketing

With 2010 coming to an end, it is time for a quick review of the most popular B2B marketing posts on the Everything Technology Marketing blog. 36) I hope you had a successful and productive 2010. The 10 Most Popular Blog Posts (by number of re-tweets) 1 - 5 Steps to B2B Marketing Success (100) 2 - The Brave New World of B2B Marketing - Are You Ready? (98) See you in 2011

Best of 2010 – 13 Twitter Tips for Increasing Engagement


2010 in Review! original on increasing engagement posted October 18, 2010) A major frustration for people trying out Twitter for the first time is figuring out how to get anyone to respond. We’re posting the best articles from the year to help you get 2011 off to the right start! They set up their Twitter account, tweet a few times and wonder why no one responds.

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Best Social PR Guides and Tips of 2010 (So Far)


Read on to learn how social media is changing PR, how pitching bloggers is different from traditional media outreach, how to optimize press releases for search and online distribution, which tools should be in your social PR toolbox and more here in some of the best articles and blog posts on social PR of 2010 so far. Social media has fundamentally altered the practice of public relations. And as any blogger can tell you, PR pros understand this, as witnessed by the incredible increase in blogger outreach “pitches&# from corporate PR departments and firms over the past two years.

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Eloqua Experience 2010


This week I attended the Eloqua Experience, Eloqua’s user conference in San Francisco. The big news of this event is the launch of Eloqua 10. It’s the result of 2 years of hard work, and it looks very good. The revamped user interface makes working with Eloqua a lot of fun. Here is a preview: Eloqua 10 Campaign Builder (click to enlarge). They are raving about Eloqua 10. Overall.

The State of the Blogosphere 2010

delicious b2bmarketing

Brian Solis Home Articles Business – Marketing PR 2.0 – New Communications Social Media Speaking Books Appearances About The State of the Blogosphere 2010 December 13, 2010 View Comments The question we ask ourselves when examining the state of the blogosphere is whether or not the cup is half full or half empty? If drinking from the glass, it is then half empty. startups.

The Best B2B Marketing Ideas of 2010

delicious b2bmarketing

The Best B2B Marketing Ideas of 2010 A guest post by Jeff Ogden , president of Find New Customers Although companies like Marketo, Eloqua and Kinaxis have produced terrific written content in blogs, e-books, etc., 19 , 2010, the marketing take-away I shared was “Think Different.&# 19, 2010. Those are a few of the favorites we found in 2010. like Marketo’s new lead scoring e-book or Eloqua’s Grande series) here we want to focus on B2B marketing key #2—Entertain. We say this because we find almost all B2B marketing deadly dull. Thanks.

Best Email Marketing Tips, Tactics and Metrics of 2010


3 items that should be in your 2010 email budget by BtoB Magazine. While social media is the flashy show horse of online marketing, email remains the solid workhorse. According to recent research , 92% of marketers consider email to be one of their “most important marketing tools” and 54% plan increased spending on it in the coming year. Avoid mistakes that will cost you readers? Karen J.

Best of 2010 – Increase Sales by Improving Customer Touchpoints


We’re posting the best articles from 2010 to help you get 2011 off to the right start! original on customer touchpoints posted on November 30, 2010) You may think improving your website or your point of sale system or even your after-sales service will help increase your sales. The year in review! They most likely will. How do they accomplish them? image by Patrick Hoesly ).

50 (of the) Best Twitter Guides, Stats, Tips and Tools of 2010 (So Far)


You’ll find the answers to these questions and many more here in 50 of the best Twitter tools, posts, how-to guides and rants of 2010 so far. Brian Solis provides a wealth of statistics that answer these questions and more, e.g., 87% of Americans said they were familiar with Twitter in 2010, up from just 26% in 2009. So what are the best ways to use Twitter for business? Crabs.

Best Social Media Stats, Facts and Marketing Research of 2010


Americans spent nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs in 2010, up from 15.8 At its current rate, Twitter will process almost 10 billion tweets in 2010. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continued to add users in the second half of 2010, albeit at a slower pace than in previous quarters. The State of the Blogosphere 2010 by Brian Solis.

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Best of 2010 – How-To: Setup Social Media Monitoring in HootSuite


2010 in Review! original on social media monitoring posted September 13, 2010) A vitally important part of achieving success with social media is responding when someone does reach out to you. We’re posting the best articles of the year to help you get 2011 off to the right start! Choose the Twitter profile and click the “+ Add Stream&# button. How do you monitor Twitter?

The Best Email Subject Line For Teleprospecting I've Seen Yet.

Sales Prospecting Perspectives

The best email subject line I've seen in my career came through my Inbox this week. Brad G, one of our inside sales reps shared an email he had received from a prospect praising his persistence in prospecting him. We call it "polite persistence" here at AG and I was very proud that the prospect not only responded to Brad, but took the time to compliment his approach and work ethic. Love to see that. As I was closing out the email I glanced at the subject line that Brad had sent to the prospect. It read " Attention: Jim - Final Follow up". or "do I know Pete"? Next he uses Jim's name.

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Best Twitter Guides, Tips and Tools of 2010


Twitter came of age in 2010, growing at a scorching pace —from 75 million users at the beginning of the year to more than 190 million by the end of December. Best of 2010: 14 Ways Every Business Should Be Using Twitter by Inkling Media. All You Need to Know About Twitter in 2010 [Infographic] by Mediabistro. What types of information are worth sharing, beyond blog posts?

Best LinkedIn Guides, Tips and Tactics of 2010


Mark Walsh reports on company pages, another new feature added by LinkedIn in late 2010. LinkedIn is firmly ensconced among the “big 3″ social networks for marketing and business purposes, and though its base of 80 million members is far smaller than the 600 million users of Facebook, its impact in B2B marketing is larger. What new features should you get familiar with?