The life sciences are, almost by definition in being a science, a highly technical field. Most life science products, and certainly life science services, are of a similarly highly technical nature. At the same time, experiments are precious and expensive. In this environment, scientists want to be sure that the products and services they purchase will provide high-quality results, and they are often highly skeptical customers. For many small life science companies which may not have the strong branding or widely adopted products or larger companies, such skepticism can be especially acute. Making customers comfortable enough with your company and products to shake this skepticism can pose a challenge, but there are strategies that small life science companies can leverage to help preempt it. Among the best strategies is to project an image of being an expert in the relevant scientific areas. This requires two things: actually having expert knowledge and understanding, and successfully projecting that knowledge.
Being an expert is often the easier component of the strategy. Chances are if you are creating a product for a particular purpose you already have members on your team who are experts in the the relevant scientific area. There are rare situations where this is not the case, however, and the solution is straightforward – learn. Never will a scientist run from your company faster than if your customer-facing employees don’t know what they’re talking about.
Projecting your expertise is harder. Some customers will contact your company if they have doubts, giving you an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and ability to them, however many customers will never contact you in the first place if they question your knowledge and skills in key areas. This requires you to be proactive in projecting your expertise. You need to actively seek out opportunities to show the scientific community that you really are a top-caliber thought leader in your field. How can you do this? There are many ways, and here are a few ideas (this list is nowhere near comprehensive):
- Discuss new research and ideas in your field on social networks
- Present at relevant scientific conferences
- Author or co-author methods papers or other journal articles
- Make compelling presentations of your technology on your website
- Draft white papers
- Maintain a blog where you address current topics in your field
- Create a website with updated information relevant to your life science field
Scientists want to do business with people and companies that it has faith in, and a large part of that is faith that you have sufficient expertise. By effectively projecting the image of an expert, you will simultaneously improve your brand image earn the trust of scientists, effectively making them more willing to do business with you.