We hear the objections all the time:

"We're not ready to endorse your product at this time."

"Our executives won't sign off on it."

"We don't want to tip our hand to our competitors."

"We don't do case studies with our vendors."

Excuses like those are a veil for not executing. Even as social media brings clients and vendors together to "engage in the conversation," you'd think that case studies would be easier to develop. But they are no less challenging than before.

In the face of hard resistance from clients, most B2B marketers manage to publish only a smattering of case studies.

Yet a few B2B companies stand out. Several interviewed for this article have strategically produced dozens (in one case, over 100) client case studies. Their success with case studies is not due to their products' superiority, but to their straightforward and calculated techniques for getting clients on board. As a result, their sales teams benefit from broad collections of case studies and first-class reference programs. This article reveals their secrets.

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Paul McKeon is the president of The Content Factor (www.contentfactor.com), a content-generation and information-architecture firm based in Atlanta. Reach him via 770-457-2489 ext. 227 or pmckeon@contentfactor.com.