In my last post, I talked about the three questions you should ask potential case study customers. If a customer ends up being a bad fit for a case study, don’t tell him or her. In these cases, honesty is never the best policy. There’s no upside to being brutally honest about their lackluster results, or that they seem like they’d be difficult to work with.
Instead, you should thank a customer profusely for his or her time and say that the story isn’t exactly what you’re looking for at the moment (blame marketing if you need a convenient scapegoat; people always blame them anyway). Indicate that you would still like to use one or two of their comments as testimonials and put them up on your website. Say you’ll put together those quotes and send them over in an email in the next few days for approval. This way, both of you still get something out of the process—a few good testimonials for you, free publicity on your site for your customer—with no wasted time on either side.