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October 26, 2010

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I'd add to your list what I call "reference fatigue." Some clients are great references in sales situations but can get burned out if asked to do too many favors. Segment your references so the most valuable are used for the highest purpose of endorsing your product/service with another potential customer.

Also, don't forget the personal angle. Finding a CIO who is interested in advancing in his career can also be a big plus. I've taken clients on tours to Gartner and Forrester and gotten them press coverage. Suddenly they start getting calls from headhunters. In the best case, they'll take a new job and then hire your client again.

Great tips. I'd also have to agree with David in his comment. In my marketing initiatives for Billian's HealthDATA/Porter Research, we found ourselves reaching out to the same folks too often, and so put the brakes on that outlet for a bit. We then scratched our heads, thought about it, and came up with a few new case study options. Fortunately, we found a customer that was ready and willing. I'd also add to the list above that you're more likely to get participation from customers that you've had longer relationships with - often even through multiple companies.

Once you've found that "golden" customer willing to participate, you can sometimes take it even further. We've not only written feature case study articles, but have built webinars around the same material.

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