Missouri is known as “The Show-Me State.” The idea is that their citizens are not easily fooled by slick talk. They want evidence. They want to see the proof before they will believe the claims.
There’s a good probability that you have some prospective clients that are “from Missouri”—at least when it comes to considering your products or services. Maybe they’ve been to your website and read all of your descriptions and information. Maybe they’ve followed your blog or your Facebook postings—and even left comments or asked questions. They may have even downloaded white papers and special reports that have provided them with helpful tips and information about your industry or their specific area of interest.
Some individuals, however, need a little bit more before they are willing to give you a shot. That’s particularly true if the product or service you offer is a high-ticket item or is one that may have a long-term impact on how your prospective client lives or does business. These individuals with the “Missouri mindset” want to see an example of how your product or service works in the real world. They want facts and figures—and they’re not going to budge until they get them.
Prospective clients such as these are great candidates for simple, but well-thought-out case studies. You can make case studies as elaborate as you want, but there are three essential elements to any good case study—and they are pretty straightforward.
1. Establish a clear, specific business problem. Provide enough background information to explain what the need is and what the desired goal is. Include enough actual data to establish the problem—but don’t go overboard.
2. Clearly define the course of action that was taken. Again, you’ll want to give enough details so that it’s clear exactly what steps someone took—but you probably don’t need to go into a “blow-by-blow” description. Again, include real data about what was done.
3. Provide specific results. This is where data is critical. Avoid fuzzy results that can’t be verified. Talk about percentages and dollars…real numbers.
At the end of your case study, make sure that you provide an opportunity for those who read it to contact your for more information. And bear in mind that if someone is serious enough about the issue to download and read a case study, they very likely will be open to a phone call to discuss it. Keep track of who downloads your case study. Give them time to review it then send them an email asking if they have additional questions.
And just in case any of you are “from Missouri”, here are a couple of examples of case studies we’ve done from clients.