In the medical industry, renowned physicians making strong statements in favor of your product or service will do more to influence the opinion of their peers than statements made by your company. For this simple reason, collecting testimonials from industry experts should always be an ongoing part of your marketing program.
Several years ago I wrote the marketing materials for an intraocular lens called, MemoryLens®. At a panel discussion about the product, I was able to interview Professor, Dr. med. Thomas Neuhann of Germany, who is highly regarded as an international cataract and refractive surgery pioneer.
During our discussion I collected some raw thoughts from him that captured his feelings about MemoryLens®. After giving his raw words some polish, he agreed to sign off on the following testimonial:
“MemoryLens is my lens of choice. I have implanted over 1,000 of them and the quickest way to say how I feel about MemoryLens is to say it is the lens I would have put in my own eye.”
—Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Neuhann
This quote, among others, from one of the most respected cataract surgeons in the world was pure gold for our marketing campaign.
Collecting such strong physician testimonials can be easier than you think. Why? Because when physician testimonials (along with their photos) appear in your marketing materials, participating doctors receive free publicity and are positioned as industry experts among their peers.
If you need a few tips on how to collect physician testimonials, here’s a simple three-step process that I’ve used with great success over the years.
1. Interview the physician
Schedule a brief interview with your physician after he has agreed to provide you with a testimonial. Doctors are very busy, so be sure to tell him you’ll only need about five minutes of his time.
Engage your physician in a free-flowing conversation about your product and the specific benefits you’d like to tout in the testimonial. Remind your doctor not to worry about choosing just the right words. Tell him that you’re just looking for his raw thoughts, and that you’ll reshape his quotes into a more polished testimonial after the interview.
When your interview concludes, review the doctor’s raw statements, and then edit them into a polished testimonial. Make sure the testimonial is short and concise—a few lines will do. Most of all, make your physician sound intelligent and professional.
2. Send the testimonial to the physician for review
Give your physician an opportunity to review the testimonial you’ve written, and tell him he’s welcome to alter it in any way he sees fit. If you’ve written a well-crafted testimonial that makes your doctor sound professional, there’s a good chance any alterations he suggests will be intended to make your product or service sound even better!
3. Finalize the testimonial and get approval
After your physician sends you his suggested revisions, be sure to send him a reply e-mail with the finalized testimonial in it.
Ask him one last time if he is happy with it, and if he is, have him reply back to your e-mail with his final approval. You’ll then want to save this e-mail in your permanent records.
In addition, your legal department may also suggest that your doctor complete a release form that he can sign, scan and send back to you.