Third-party credibility for healthcare vendors: Why your clients are your best selling resource

By Chowning Johnson on October 13th, 2009

Whether you’re selling to consumers or other businesses, there’s no better endorsement than one from a client, and this is especially true for healthcare IT vendors. Showing prospects that you have clients willing to speak on your behalf gives your product third-party credibility and often puts it ahead of competitive products. We’ve included five ways you can utilize your clients to drive sales and generate buzz around your offerings.

  1. Media opportunities: When securing media coverage highlighting a customer’s use of your products, it’s important to realize the story has a life beyond the month it’s issued. You can e-mail prospects and customers a link to the piece once it comes out; order a PDF from the publication for e-mailing or posting on your Web site; or secure hard copy reprints for use as part of a direct mail or for your sales team to hand out at meetings or tradeshows.
  2. Testimonials and case studies: These marketing tactics arm you with powerful sales tools that can be used a variety of ways. Testimonials can be sprinkled throughout your Web site, in brochures or other marketing collateral—they ultimately support the statements you are making and give them credibility. Case studies on the other hand can be posted to your Web site or e-mailed and handed out to prospects. They show prospects how your clients are using the technology and the results and benefits they might experience. This article offers some helpful tips on asking clients to participate in case studies and testimonials.
  3. Speaking and award opportunities: Having clients present educational sessions or participate as part of an expert panel at industry events is a great way to demonstrate the value of your products as is nominating clients for industry awards. These tactics enable potential prospects interested in the speaking or award topic to learn about your organization in a non-advertorial way.
  4. Referrals: By developing strong working relationships with clients and encouraging their product feedback, you’ll often find that they are happy to refer your offering to colleagues. You can also create a database of client references to put in touch with prospects who want to speak to end-users.
  5. Client forums: Creating user groups, client forums or best practices award programs will help you get to know your clients better. It could also help you uncover details that might lead to great media opportunities you otherwise may not have known. Additionally, creating this type of community for users can be attractive to those interested in your technology so they can learn how others are implementing the applications and using them on a daily basis.

Investing the time to know your clients can have a huge payoff. Not only will you make them happy by promoting their business, but you’ll also reap the benefits of having third-party credibility.