One of the key pieces for creating an excellent business proposal is to incorporate engaging, well-written case studies. A well-written case study is a powerful, informative tool that can help you convert your proposal into a contract.
Often, case studies are an opportunity to showcase experience and expertise relative to the types of problems that the client’s firm has. They play a significant role in helping others see the benefits of using your products or services (https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2015/08/07/content-marketing-for-startups/#df0d9d33eac2).
People who use case studies in their proposals will develop partnerships more quickly with their prospects. This is because they can control the sales process more effectively. And that means they have a better chance of meeting their sales targets.
People who don’t use case studies often struggle to achieve their sales targets. This is because they don’t have the ability to develop the same partnerships with their prospects. And that means they won’t have effective control over the sales process (https://www.storiesthatsellguide.com/store/tip-of-the-month/getting-short-listed/).
There are several other great reasons why case studies are one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal. Sure, they’ve been around since time immemorial, but they deserve a fresh look in today’s business environment.
A Guide to Writing Great Case Studies
Case studies are a lot like stories. A general format introduces your clients, describes the problems they had and then wraps it up with the solution you provided. Your clients are the highlights of these stories, and your services or products are the solutions to the problems faced (https://www.inc.com/theupsstore/5-components-of-effective-case-studies.html)
With that said; a good case study must fulfil your business needs as well as being of interest to your prospect. As such, you should pick past clients who you believe are the right brand for your business, keen to share the results you’ve given them and eager to speak of your role in helping them solve a problem (https://www.forbes.com/sites/markevans/2013/03/22/for-startups-case-studies-are-sexy/#24e2ac861463).
The art of writing convincing case studies is to stay away from the ‘salesy’ path by going easy on your advertorial content. They don’t need to be complex or long. This isn’t an opportunity to loudly hoot your firm’s capabilities but to subtly show how your products or services can benefit the prospect.
Here is a simple structure outlining the fundamentals of a case study:
-A basic introduction of who the client is
-A description of the client’s situation, challenges, frustration relative to the issue they were facing
-A description of the services your firm offered to solve the problem- methodology, tools, approach and anything proprietary
-A description of the end results in quantifiable terms- show movement from situation X to situation Y.
-A customer testimonial
The secret is in the numbers. If you aren’t able to quantify your results and clearly show movement from problem to solution, then you don’t have a case study (https://www.forbes.com/sites/markevans/2013/03/22/for-startups-case-studies-are-sexy/#24e2ac861463).
How to Get the Testimonial
Most people ask for testimonials and after a diligent follow-up, they get the testimonials. But without asking the right questions to probe the client, the testimonial might end up looking like this:
Sam did a fantastic job on this project. We’re very happy and plan to work with him again in future.
This isn’t a bad review but does it sell your products/services and tell a good story about you? Most clients don’t know how to provide good testimonials, so as an expert you need to direct them to write stories that will inspire your next prospect to hire you (https://www.forbes.com/sites/markevans/2013/03/22/for-startups-case-studies-are-sexy/#24e2ac861463).
Here are the three most important questions to ask when looking for a powerful testimonial:
-What was your experience doing business with me?
-What did you like most about the solution we offered?
-Would you hire my company again? If so, why?
By asking these questions, you will be able to get a client testimonial that credibly sells your business and tells a vivid story. Here is a good example.
Sam was great to work with while building our site. He invested a lot of time learning about our brand personality, style and mission. He was completely transparent and easy to communicate with. We relied on Sam to turn everything we wanted into a success and the result was totally impressive. We are highly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him, and we plan to work with him again. Highly recommended.
How to Package Your Case Study
One way to package your case studies is to use a PDF format. When you do this, it becomes very easy to add them to the end of a proposal using ClientPoint. Aim to keep all case studies at least one page regardless of how long the project is. The truth is, most clients generally skim through the case study part (https://www.2020strategyinc.com/business-beat-blog/want-to-learn-to-write-good-five-tips-to-improve-your-writing-today).
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Quality
When you submit your case studies to the prospect, they will assess the quality of the case study as well as the quality of the proposed solution within the proposal. It is, therefore, imperative to consider investing some money into having a professionally designed case study. It can make all the difference when converting your proposal into a contract (https://www.forbes.com/sites/matzucker/2016/03/11/visual-content-a-case-for-beautiful/).
Use Images and Videos
It is always a good idea to include images and videos of your previous work in your case study as well as throughout your business proposal. If the project is non-visual, design a clever infographic highlighting the major aspects of the project. You don’t have to cram tens of shots in the case study, remember you need to keep it under one page and straight to the point. So make it easy for the prospect to get the important bits you intend to drive home (https://www.forbes.com/sites/matzucker/2016/03/11/visual-content-a-case-for-beautiful/).
The Hidden Value of Case Studies
Case studies are more than just a tool to package and showcase your work to prospects. They represent the views of your clients, not your business. Webinars, blog posts and other types of content that come from your business are sometimes viewed as self-interested, meaning clients tend to be a little skeptical of them. Case studies come directly from the consumer, so they act as a powerful third party endorsement of your brand (https://www.inc.com/theupsstore/5-components-of-effective-case-studies.html).
It is clear that case studies can yield good results, but at the end, those results are solely reliant on your efforts to create them. With the information in this blog post, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start creating case studies with the projects you’ve had success with.
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