Business Writing Services, LLC

7 Tips for Getting Customers to Say “Yes!” to Success Stories

If your Marketing team finds it challenging to get customers to say “Yes!” to success stories, the seven tips below might help:

  • Work closely with Sales and Service to identify candidates based on the feedback they get from customers. This will point to customers more likely to say yes. It may also require getting both teams to buy into the value of success stories—they may be protective against others talking to their best accounts.
  • It’s best to have the person with the strongest relationship with a customer be the one to ask for the OK to produce a success story. Customers are more likely to say yes to someone with whom they feel an emotional connection. This is usually the account manager but could be an inside sales rep, project manager, technical lead, or service rep. For success stories that could have a major impact on sales efforts, you might consider having one of your senior executives ask one of the customer’s senior executives.
  • Your success stories can sometimes be beneficial to customers and/or the project leads working for your customers. Perhaps the new solution has created a new or improved capability or product that the customer can promote to their own customers. The project lead might be able to use the success story for industry recognition—with the story presenting them as a hero.
  • Consider offering discounts to customers who will agree to endorse a success story. Ideally, the success story would start 3-6 months after the solution has gone live so that there are real, tangible results to write about. But the discount could be part of the proposal and kick in once the success story is completed.
  • Offer spiffs to Sales and Service reps who get a customer to say yes to a success story—to be paid out when the success story is published; you could also offer gift certificates to customers.
  • If you have a joint success story that involves a business partner, they may be in a better position to get the customer to say yes, and they may be willing to share the cost. There could even be two versions of the success story, one that focuses on what your company did and one that focuses on the partner.
  • Be flexible in what you ask of the customer to produce the success story. The typical process involves a phone interview of 30-60 minutes, and the customer will need to review the success story and provide feedback on the changes they want. If the customer balks at spending this much time, ask if they are willing to try an alternative process. Success stories can be written with internal input only, but the customer will still need to review the copy.

For every success story you hope to publish, identify three customer candidates to approach. One of them may say no from the start, and another may run into issues as you reach the approval stage. By reaching out to three, you can be more certain that at least one will turn into that “Yes!” you’re looking for.

If you have questions about getting customers to say “Yes!” to success stories or need help writing about your customer successes, I would be glad to help. Feel free to contact me at