…and you can’t tell a good story without a good script.
Humans live in stories. Your story is a window through which you see the world and through which the world sees you. It affects how you make decisions, your decision choices and the impressions that your decisions leave on your world.
The fact that we naturally live in stories is actually good news for professional services firms. After all, we don’t sell a product and therefore we need to rely on prospects to infer our potential value.
Speaking of good news, I’m glad to say that most firms have come to the realization that they need to develop stories in the form of case histories in order to get prospects just to pay attention to them. After all, in this highly accountable and competitive business climate, decision makers have a significant need to vet or evaluate your firm up front – who you work with, how you think and what problems you solved. It’s necessary currency for their attention.
The bad news is that most case histories that we see really come up short. They simply don’t tell the stories in a thorough and compelling enough manner. Don’t get me wrong. I realize that it’s “short attention span theatre” out there, so I’m not talking about writing a book. What I am talking about is a case history that’s designed to grab a prospect’s attention and then deliver the story in a clear, compelling and concise way by answering 8 key questions:
- Who is the client (if not a household name, provide perspective)?
- What was the business problem or opportunity that existed (not that they needed a new website or brand position)?
- What was the client trying to accomplish?
- What were the key insights that we knew or learned through research that helped determine our strategy?
- What did our strategy involve?
- What, if any obstacles stood in the way of success (external and/or internal)?
- What were the results of our efforts (increased sales, etc., not the website that you developed)?
- Based on above, what would be a strong, results-based headline that would intrigue your market to read more?
Something else to keep in mind – the more clearly the steps of your story is linked, the stronger it will be. For example, strategy should be an outgrowth of your insights and results should link back to objectives.
When you have a few minutes, review one of your case histories. If it does not sufficiently address these questions, you’re probably selling yourself short. You’re also not providing your business developers with enough knowledge to allow them to effectively engage prospects in a meaningful way.
FREE ASSESSMENT OPPORTUNITY
Send one of your case studies to email@example.com. I’ll review and assess it for free. I’ll also send you our worksheet for developing powerful case studies.
Thanks for your time and as always, good hunting!