Monthly Archives: March 2014

Creating Results Envy with Compelling Case Studies

by Gail Z. Martin

Results Envy occurs when your prospect sees the outcome you have delivered to your customer and wants it so badly it makes his/her teeth hurt.

Compelling case studies deliver Results Envy when you tell a story that draws the prospect in, evokes emotions and delivers a story that engages emotion.

See, Results Envy works because as human beings, we’re wired for stories. Since the first cavemen crouched around a campfire and shared ghost stories or hunting stories or myths of how the world came to be, we have learned that stories are important for survival.

You see, we are wired for stories. It’s how we learn. It’s how we come to understand the world around us, who we are, where we belong, and what’s possible.  The stories we tell—in our families, our communities, our houses of worship, our countries—they give us a sense of identity and they give us our sense of how the world works.

That’s why it’s so risky to decide that you don’t need to tell stories. See facts are good, there’s a place for a list of features and benefits, but that’s not where the big hurdle is to bring people to ‘yes’. It doesn’t happen in the frontal lobes, where the logical thinking occurs. It happens in the lizard brain, the old brain, the amygdala, where everything is driven by emotion. Fight or flight. Friend of enemy. Food or predator. Mate or threat. That’s the old brain, and it still plays a big part in how we made decisions. It’s the shadow brain, the one that tells us what to be afraid of, the part of our brain that worries in the middle of the night. Satisfy the lizard brain, and you make the sale.

Case studies can evoke Results Envy better than testimonials.

Testimonials are about the ending. That’s all. They talk about the outcome, but not the journey. They’re short, and we don’t get to know the person giving the testimonial. They could be anyone. We don’t know what they’ve gone through, why the outcome mattered, what was on the line. It’s like reading the last page of a book or watching the last scene of a movie.

There’s a place for testimonials. But testimonials serve as post-purchase reinforcement or pre-purchase encouragement, they don’t make the sale. Case studies—stories—make the sale.

Case studies also overcome the ego/budget factor to create Results Envy.

I want you to realize that you don’t sell services. You don’t sell products. You sell solutions to problems.

If you’re a consultant, you help people figure out what they can’t figure out on their own. If you sell a product, you provide a tool to people to do something they can’t do without your tool. And that’s the problem. Your customer has to admit to being a failure before they are willing to buy your product or services.

Most people won’t buy a solution to their problem until they have tried to fix it themselves. Either they don’t want to spend the money (budget) or they don’t want to admit they can’t do it alone (ego). Think about the last time something broke at your house. Whether it was a clogged drain or a glitch garage door, I bet you tried at least once—maybe more—to fix it yourself before you called in a professional or went out to Lowe’s or Home Depot to buy a replacement.

Why? Because you didn’t want to spend the money, and you figured ‘it can’t be that hard.’ Am I right? You know that’s how we do things.

But the truth is, we try to fix it ourselves. We duct tape things together for as long as we can. We work around the broken part until we can’t stand it anymore, or until it doesn’t work at all, or until someone else refuses to put up with it and makes us do something about it.

We have to fail before we’re ready to buy—and we have to admit to ourselves that we have failed. That hurts. We don’t like that. In fact, we’ll try really hard not to come to that conclusion. And that’s why people put off buying your products and services.

They’re not ready to fail. They’re not ready to admit that they can’t do it themselves if they try a little harder or a little longer. They’re not ready to put away the duct tape and admit it’s really broken.

Case studies—stories—make it easier for them to get past the ego/budget factor by showing them what happened to someone else. Someone who had a problem just like theirs. Someone just like them. Someone with the same fears and hopes, who was in a lot of trouble, like them, until they saw the light. Someone who trusted you and your product or service to help, and then got the jackpot, got the solution and peace of mind and money and good night’s sleep and no more acid reflux. And when they get to that point in the story, they’ve got Results Envy and they want what you’ve got more than they want their pride and more than they want their money. And you’ve got a customer.

Now the fourth reason you want Results Envy is because it helps to validate Return on Investment.

For 99% of us, money is finite. There isn’t enough to do everything, so it’s a constant series of trade-offs. Do I buy this because if I do, I can’t buy that. Invest here? If so, can’t invest there. Always an opportunity cost, something you miss out on because you did something else and you can’t do both.

So if you want a customer to spend money with you, that’s money they can’t spend on something else. So not only do you have to get them past that ego/sticker-price issue, you’ve also get them to want what you’ve got to offer more than what they’re passing up to get it.

How do you do that? With Results Envy.

When your prospect wants the outcome so much that he or she can taste it, touch it, smell it, feel it, and imagine themselves living with the solution to their problem, he will validate the ROI to himself. You won’t have to do it. Your prospect will argue themselves into the purchase. She’ll talk herself out of her objections, because she is already sold on the outcome.

Results Envy will make the ROI argument for you.

Write your case studies with Results Envy in mind, and see the difference it makes turning prospects into customers!

Gail Z. Martin owns DreamSpinner Communications and helps companies and solo professionals in the U.S. and Canada improve their marketing results in 30 days. Gail has an MBA in marketing and over 25 years of corporate and non-profit experience at senior executive levels. Gail also hosts the Shared Dreams Marketing Podcast and she’s the author of 30 Days to Social Media Success and The Thrifty Author’s Guide to Launching Your Book. Find her online at, on Twitter @GailMartinPR and check out her Facebook page at 30 Day Results Guide.


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Kickstarter Projects Depend on Social Media For Success

by Gail Z. Martin

Social media plays a key role in funding a successful Kickstarter. That’s one reason anthologies do well, because they are a team effort and appeal to the readership of a dozen or more authors. On the other hand, I’ve seen individual authors and product developers also successfully Kickstart their projects by reaching out to their personal networks through social media and encouraging friends to tell friends.

Friends telling friends is really the secret to funding a Kickstarter, and it’s the essence of viral or word-of-mouth marketing. The more friends you can connect with early and often on social media, the more active you and they are in spreading the word, and the more interconnected interested parties are in talking up the project, the more buzz is in the marketplace and the more people find the project and contribute.

For example, the Kickstarter anthology project included seventeen original authors. Most were already active on Facebook or Twitter. The authors immediately liked, friended and followed each other so they could retweet, share, like and comment on each other’s posts about the project. The Kickstarter also had a Facebook fan page, a Facebook event page, a Tumblr page, Twitter hashtags, Pinterest posts, a YouTube video and a Goodreads event. Authors and their friends talked it up on all those social media sites plus others like Reddit and Google+, and reached out to bloggers, podcasters and book review sites. They kept up a constant flow of commentary, banter, witty repartee and flat-out asking for funding for 29 days, often interacting with each other in real-time on multiple platforms at once.  (And should you think the authors were all twenty-somethings, the average age was 40+).   Kickstarter needs constant buzz.  It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it medium.

Kickstarter creates an exciting opportunity to reach what pundits call the “Long Tail” of customers. The “long tail” refers to the trail of a comet, which stretches on for a long, long time beyond the comet itself. The marketing theory around the “long tail” holds that there are viable niche markets that often go untapped because they are too small to be profitable for the business models of very large companies, but which can provide a very nice living for entrepreneurs or small, efficient companies that can tap that niche and provide a desired outcome.

Thinking about bringing your product to market but stymied on funding? Take a look at Kickstarter. But remember, what appears to be just a funding mechanism is really an endeavor that requires a lively network, a clear concept, a niche audience and a lot of marketing mojo.

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Rapid, Terrifying Uncertainty = Epic Win

by Karen Rowe

Here’s a conversation I had with a friend today:

-Hey Karen, what are you up to?

-I’m working.

-But it’s a Holiday. 

-Yeah, not for me. 

I started working with a new company at the beginning of May, and it has been a game-changer for me. It has been years since I have worked on a Holiday. I can safely say that I have NEVER worked on a Holiday and been happy to do it. It has been years since I have felt this inspired, thrilled, charged up, challenged and elated.  These days, I’ve been workin’ 12- hour days. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Anyone who knows me knows that this is not my standard M.O. I am the Queen Preacher of Work-Life-Balance. My social life is important to me; my dating life is important to me; my margaritas are important to me. I’ve honestly always felt sorry for people who work 70- or 80-hour weeks, sanctimoniously believeing that I knew something they didn’t, that *I* had figured out the secret to a happy life.

I have been wrong all these years. Happily, joyously wrong…

Mostly because I have never been invested or all that interested in my work. Mostly because I’d never been part of a team that inspired me to bring my A-Game so consistently and clearly and measurably.  Every time I think, ‘oh ya, I got this in the bag,’ one of them comes along and hits me right between the eyes and takes me down. I consider this a compliment, by the way. There aren’t many people that can consistently keep me on my toes like that. I am a master at getting ahead of people; it’s always been my way of having the upper hand. I  move fast, I catch up, I get in front. It’s a control thing.

This time it’s different.

This time I’ve met my match. This time what’s in the bag is game-changing, show-stopping clear leadership.

You have to understand that anything I ever thought I knew about business was only just in theory, and this is the first time in my life that I’m getting to really see it live and in action; it’s the first time I’m getting to play in a really big and tangible way. I’m up to bat, and if I don’t sharpen my skills, well then I’m just going to strike out and have to sit in the dugout. And who the hell wants to spend their entire life in the dugout?? NOT ME!

I’m going to need a bigger container. Contextually, I mean. I get my mind blown on a daily, if not an hourly, basis. The things I am learning, what I’m doing, seeing, hearing, being every minute of every day right now scares THE HOLY LIVING BEJESUS OUT OF ME. It just takes that wee, tiny little context of mine and eats it for breakfast with a side of bacon.

And isn’t this the way it should be, always?? Shouldn’t you — we– all be surrounding ourselves with people who ask us to play a bigger game, who push us to be our very best selves, to take risks, dive in with both feet, barrel through our days with gusto and holy living terror?

Or is that just me?

Seems to me if you want a life in your comfort zone, keep your day job. If you want to take great risks, move mountains, and get epic wins, then surround yourself with people who make your butt cheeks pucker & don’t buy any of your bullshit.

This work has gotten me to start facing the truth within myself; it has gotten me to see that the journey for my truth will actually set me free.

So is that worth working on a Holiday for? Hell ya. 

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