Success Story Template


Tool/Example by C.J. HaydenA helpful tool for presenting your services to prospective clients is a repertoire of success stories about the results your clients get from your work. Here’s a template and example for composing some success stories of your own.

Success Ln and Failure DrYou can use success stories in any situation where you have to describe your business or answer questions about it. Whenever someone asks you to elaborate on how you go about your work, what clients get when they work with you, or how your services might apply in a particular situation, a success story can help you to give a concise but powerful response.

Effective success stories have three components: the setup, the action, and the payoff.

The Setup: What was the situation?

I had a client… contract… job… situation… who/where…

The Action: What did you do about it?

Use active verbs — no passive tense!

So I analyzed… evaluated… diagnosed… assessed… clarified… reviewed… collected… compiled… solved… advised… recommended… influenced… negotiated… persuaded… planned… drafted… authored… formulated… adapted… designed… composed… created… invented… engineered… constructed… built… developed… installed… set up… purchased… integrated… produced… prepared… performed… implemented… supervised… coordinated… facilitated… trained… taught… coached… managed… directed… arranged… organized… executed…

The Payoff: What happened as a result?

And as a result, my client achieved… attained… resolved… determined… retained… restored… raised… increased… reduced… earned… gained… won… expanded… strengthened… improved… enhanced… fixed… corrected… succeeded… conquered… pioneered… transformed…

Success Story Example

I had a client with a human resource information system that was absurdly complex and hopelessly out-of-date. It had been modified in-house by an employee who was no longer there, and was being operated by a technician and a data entry clerk who hadn’t been adequately trained. In addition, there was almost no documentation of how to use the system.

I assessed the situation and began to reverse-engineer the programming code to discover how the system worked. In the first 30 days, I was able to produce sufficient documentation to run the system error-free on a daily basis, and I trained the technician and data entry clerk sufficiently for them to work with minimal supervision. Then I prepared an evaluation of the system, and recommended that it be completely replaced. After my recommendation was accepted, I joined a inter-departmental team dedicated to evaluating and selecting a replacement system, and later worked as part of the system replacement team. There I served as the expert on duplicating needed functionality from the old system, and managed data mapping and conversion.

As a result of my work, my client was able to replace their outdated and error-prone HR system with a new system that completely met their needs, while at the same time keeping their old system fully operational. The whole project took only 18 months from the day I was first hired, and was completed on time and within budget.

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