Write Your Case Study with P A R I (Problem, Action, Result, Impact)

Promote the difference you made.

Case studies are a familiar marketing tactic to develop trust with potential clients. Prospects read about your experience with a business similar to theirs and get a sense of how you might work with them. When you present the success you achieved with another company, you’re indicating that you:

  • speak your prospect’s language;
  • understand the stated problem (and can anticipate related issues);
  • offer a strategy, tactic or solution that will take that pesky weight off their shoulders.

The P A R I formula for writing a case study is a proven approach that transcends all business operations and industries. Follow this step-by-step series of questions to gather the components of your case study, and you’ll easily develop a persuasive narrative.

Problem:
What was the situation before you arrived on the scene? What was the danger if the client did not take prompt action? What would not have happened if you were not involved? Sketch the essential elements of disorganization, slow and complicated processes, poor sales growth, underperforming staff, etc., so the prospective client will identify with the challenges the client and you were about to tackle together.

Action:
What steps did you take to define, address and resolve the problem? Who needed to be persuaded to join the team? What was the budget? Include these details to enhance your credibility with prospective clients.

Result:
Thanks to your intervention, what was the immediate result? Did the phone ring off the hook when a news story appeared? Did web traffic increase, leading to more sales inquiries? Was a process streamlined when a bottleneck was eliminated? Numbers and percentages will concretely underscore the essential role you played.

Impact:
What was the longer-term impact of your role for the company? How did the changes you recommended help implement ripples across other operations? How is the success you achieved being sustained? Demonstrate that your role gave the client tools to maintain the improvements you engineered.

Many professional resume editors recommend the P A R acronym to highlight career achievements. By adding the I for Impact, you underscore that your insights and efforts exerted a sustainable effect that the organization will perpetuate into the future.

This Month’s Tip

After you develop the case study and post it on your website, think of how you can promote the essence of the story in other venues. Perhaps you and the client can speak at an event or appear on a podcast. Consider writing an article for publication in a key industry magazine or your professional membership association’s newsletter. Share the write-up in relevant LinkedIn groups; ask a question about the problem you addressed and offer your case study as the best practice that resolves the issue. Create a video where you discuss the before, during and after of the situation. These are among the many ways to distribute your outstanding work.

Contact

Ready to draft your case study of a client success? Contact me at 212.677.5770 or email at Janet@JanetLFalk.com to review the foundation of your P A R I approach. Let’s use it to make a case for your expertise.

Click here to read prior issues of this newsletter.

See also: Client Success Becomes a Case Study and Article