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Fighting ‘Nothingness’ in Tech Consulting with Brightr Founder

May 15, 2024

industry insights saar calev

The NeverEnding Story is my all-time favorite movie. If you grew up in the '80s or '90s, chances are it might be yours, too. I love how it showcased the transformative power of imagination in overcoming stark realities.

The protagonist, Bastian, a bullied boy, discovers a magical book titled The NeverEnding Story. As he reads, he learns about Fantasia, a fantasy land threatened by “nothingness,” the consequence of human apathy and loss of creativity. Transported into the tale, Bastian realizes Fantasia needs a human child's help. He meets a child empress who urges him to save Fantasia through imagination. Together, they rebuild the fantastical world.

Funnily enough, the film's moral applies perfectly to the world of technology consulting. We must use our imaginations to defeat technology nothingness and build solutions that make a difference.

But how do we spark that imagination? Just like Bastian, we need a good story.

I've worked in tech consulting for over ten years, telling stories to inspire my team, clients, and prospects. I am passionate about exploring new ways for service providers to effectively communicate and share their stories with the world. Three years ago, I founded Brightr, a storytelling platform for tech services.

Marketers use stories to build the brand, sales use them to establish trust with prospects (it’s not like we have a product to demo), and delivery uses them to develop new ideas for their clients.

I love talking with fellow tech consultants and hearing stories about their projects, learning how they overcame a challenge or used a technology element innovatively. And just like a book-inspired Bastian, these project stories inspire me to imagine new and better ideas for my clients.

Making good client stories

It takes more than the conventional problem-solution-outcome structure, typically found in tech consultancies’ case studies, to get clients excited about your work and remember you. This structure often falls short when engaging audiences due to its emotionally detached approach. It also limits storytelling to a linear progression, lacks emotional connection, and fails to differentiate or leave a lasting impact. 

By moving beyond this conventional structure, tech companies can harness the power of storytelling, emotion, and unique perspectives to create compelling narratives that captivate and resonate with audiences on a deeper level.

“Stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.”

Dr. Jennifer Aaker
General Atlantic Professor, Stanford University

A good client story is a narrative that portrays a business collaboration, focusing on how real people (with names) arrive at solutions. It describes the human and technical sides of business — complex struggles overcome, innovation devised, satisfaction and pride in one's work, and professional relationships forged.

Getting started with storytelling

At Brightr, we developed and tested a client story framework called Key Moments.

Key Moments describe real interaction between a tech consultancy and its client through a project. Unlike case studies, they make the story relatable and bring it to life. A good client story lets anyone learn how the consultancy works and what its culture and key people are like. 

Here are some examples of Key Moments, a few prompts to help you describe yours, and what a team member/client/prospect can learn from them.

The moment of trust

Establishing a moment of trust is crucial in the tech services space. It defines a project's success or failure. It begins with building rapport and empathy during initial client interactions and understanding their business goals and challenges. Demonstrating expertise through past successes and addressing technical queries further solidifies this trust.

That is how you make an initial connection with a client, and how you kick off a project. 

Prompts: How did you strike up a connection with the client? How did you kick off the project?

The eureka moment

The eureka moment is a transformative experience in problem-solving within the tech services space. It represents that precise instant when everything clicks into place, and the ideal solution becomes crystal clear after carefully listening to and digesting the client's problem.

The "oh, of course!" moment is typically when a unique insight or perspective comes to light, bridging the gap between the client's needs and the team's capabilities. This breakthrough realization is often a synthesis of diverse perspectives, innovative thinking, and domain expertise. 

The prompt: When was the moment you realized the specific solution to the client’s problem?

The red moment

The red moment signifies a critical juncture in any project where challenges, doubts, or uncertainties peak, causing friction or disruption. It's a phase where stakeholders may question the project's direction or feasibility, leading to intense scrutiny and pressure to deliver results. All meaningful projects, at a certain point, experience high doubt or uncertainty and go “red.” 

Prompts: What was the “red” moment of this project? How did you get through it? How does your organization handle these types of situations?

The ROI moment

The ROI moment is a pivotal stage in our project journey, representing the transition from implementation to tangible outcomes and value creation for the client. It's when we see the solution in action, making a positive impact and driving meaningful results — the moment after the project goes live, and it becomes clear that the solution is working well and making a difference for the client. 

Prompts: When did you realize the solution had a positive impact on your client? How did it move the needle?

Other key moments include: The Ribbon Cutting Moment (Go Live), The Introduction Moment (how the client learned about your team), and The Deal Clarity Moment (how you scoped the project).

I like to pick 3-4 Key Moments that are most memorable from my projects, write them out, and then organize them chronologically. 

Additional story elements

The "Description" segment of the client story is where we delve into the classic case study questions: problem, solution, and outcome. It's crucial to articulate the client's initial challenges or pain points in detail, highlighting the specific issue that needs to be addressed. By clearly defining the problem, we set the stage for understanding the significance of the solution and its impact.

Moving on to "About The Client." This section provides valuable context about the client's background, industry, and motivations for investing in the project. 

"Technologies" adds depth to the client story by showcasing the innovative tools and technologies utilized in the solution. 

Lastly, highlighting the "People" involved in the project acknowledges the dedicated team members who contributed to its success. Recognizing their expertise, contributions, and collaborative efforts is essential, showcasing the human element behind the project's achievements.

Add a couple of these elements to your Key Moments, and bam —- you have a client story that will make the child empress proud.

Try this Client Story framework to showcase one of your recent projects and see the difference it can make!

The role of Gen AI

Using Gen AI in our storytelling process has been a game changer. Gen AI has become our trusty writing buddy, helping us bounce ideas, suggesting improvements, and just making our drafts better.

AI example

And sure, Gen AI is a powerful tool, but it's no substitute for the human touch. It complements our storytelling skills, helping us polish our stories while maintaining that genuine vibe that connects with our audience.

I believe humans should write stories. You can tell when a story comes from the heart. Also, what’s left for us mere mortals otherwise?

Happily ever after

Exploring those key moments in client stories and storytelling, coupled with the integration of Gen AI, highlights the synergy between human creativity and technological innovation. 

As we navigate trust-building, breakthroughs, and challenges, we come to recognize that storytelling is not just about words but about connecting on a deeper level. 

As we steer the tech industry, let's continue to blend our expertise, passion, and tools to craft client narratives that inspire, connect, and drive success in new and more creative ways!

Wondering how AI will continue to shake up sales industries? Find out how to leverage what's next in tech.

Marketing automation software
Your story starts here

Learn how other tech thought leaders are building their happily ever after with Industry Insights.

Marketing automation software
Your story starts here

Learn how other tech thought leaders are building their happily ever after with Industry Insights.

Fighting ‘Nothingness’ in Tech Consulting with Brightr Founder Discover how you can defeat 'nothingness' in consulting as Brightr Founder Sa'ar Celev shares the power of strong client storytelling in the tech industry.
Sa’ar Calev Sa’ar Calev is the Founder of Brightr, a platform for the tech services space to create and share client stories. Sa’ar is based in Brooklyn, NY and previously held leadership positions at Bluewolf and IBM. Working in this space for the past 14 years, his passion is in enabling tech consultancies/ISVs/Dev Shops to share their stories, spread innovation, and grow!

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