3 ways to encourage your client to sign off on your case study

 
You've written a mind-blowing impressive case study, it includes a glowing testimonial and showcases impressive qualitative and quantitative impacts. All you need now is that client sign off.
 
If you're a regular Case Study Academy reader then you will know that we strongly advocate building a case study into your initial Services Agreement. If you've done that, then well done, gold star of you! 
 
If like most people you haven't done that, and you're writing the case study 3 weeks after you finished the project, then you'll be reaching out to the client and chasing them.
 
This can be a long-winded process where you email and wait for a response...
 
...and you wait... and you send another email... and you start feeling awkward ('what if they didn't like the work after all?')... and you think about picking up the phone but you don't quite get around to it.
 
The good news is that the no. 1 reason that clients are slow to sign off on case studies is that there is more than 1 person involved, and it's slipped down one individual's to do list.
 
They just need a reminder of why this is important for everyone involved.
 
Here are three ways to encourage your client to action that sign off:
 
 
1. What's in it for me?
 
Explain what's in it for the client. Sounds obvious right? You'd be suprised how easy it is to forget this bit.
 
What's the audience for the case study?
 
Will the case study generate press? Will it build the client's brand? Position the client as someone who is able to smart enough to expert advice to solve their business problems and grow?
 
If the case study is going public on the Case Study Gallery, make use of the client profile section, and link back to your client's website.
 
 
2. Collaborate with the client
 
Nobody likes nasty surprises. Build trust and confidence by offering your client the chance to get hands on and edit and review your case study prior to publication.

That way they can be sure that they are presented in a way that they are comfortable with, secure in the knowledge that the case study is accurate.
 
If you are building your case study within Case Study Ninja, you can invite the client into your dashboard, and allow them to make their own tweaks.
 
Marketing Departments love the level of control that this gives them.
 
 
3. Anonymise the case study
 
A good case study is still powerful even without the name of the client organisation.
 
In this example, 'Protection Strategies', cybersecurity firm Protective Intelligence talk about how they helped 'a very large, global organisation' manage significant IT security breaches. 
 
This is a sensitive subject so it's natural for the client to hold back their name. The case study still makes it clear how Protective Intelligence helped them to solve their business issue. 
 
Some client's will be quite strict about this, they will want all identifying features removed. Other clients will simply want the financials kept back.
 
That's ok - it's perfectly acceptable to list revenues as 'confidential' or cost savings by a percentage e.g. reduced existing costs by 30%.
 
If confidentiality is an area where your client is nervous, take the time to find out explore exactly what needs to be kept private and what you can use to demonstrate delivery success.
 
 
 


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