In today’s competitive healthcare space where consumers are empowered with choices about the providers and health insurance plans they choose, it’s more important than ever for healthcare marketers to connect with their leads on a personal level.

Whether you’re a hospital, a private practice, a health insurance plan or B2B healthcare brand, the best way to build your credibility and validate results is with case studies.

Yet not every patient, member or client will be the right customer to feature.

Before putting an ask out to any customer, there is some work you must do ahead of time to ensure that you not only have the right customer, but that your case studies will be a powerful tool to convert prospects. Here are 4 tips to get your started.

1. Let your personas be your guide.

Casting a wide net and trying to target every visitor that clicks on your site is a fruitless effort.

The same goes for case studies.

When you start to identify potential customers for your case studies, it’s vital that you know who your buyers are, what are the specific challenges they face and what their objections are to what you offer.

Then when you talk to your physicians or your sales reps, you’ll be able to tell them the type of customer you need instead of asking for any customer who is willing.

2. Amazing doesn’t cut it.

Just because one of your physicians has a great relationship with a certain patient doesn’t mean that person will be a good fit.

When looking for customers to feature, make sure they have a good story to tell. Sure, maybe the patient improved her cholesterol numbers or lost 50 pounds, but if there’s nothing else that makes the story compelling or your leads can’t connect with the story, it will make closing the deal that much harder.

3. Do a pre-interview.

The customer you have chosen might sound great on paper but when you get him on the phone, he’s either not willing to share as much as you thought he would or it feels like pulling teeth to get the information out of him.

One of the best ways to make sure you get what you need is to send the questions ahead of time so your customer can prepare or conduct a pre-interview to vet customers before making a final selection.

What’s more, when it comes to B2B, many companies have legal departments to contend with or have restrictions on what they will and will not talk about. Although it may not be a deal breaker, you should know ahead of time what is off limits so you’ll know how the story will pan out.

4. Be transparent.

When I was writing case studies for a client, the doctor who was asked to find a patient said that he had a great patient for me to interview. But once I got the patient on the phone, she didn’t want to use her name, reveal her profession or talk about her health condition. The result? A boring, bare bones story that did nothing to help them close deals.

So whether it’s one of your physicians or a sales representative, make sure that they explain to your customer exactly what the case study will be used for and what they will be asked.