Why You Need Testimonials
"Birds of a feather flock together" is a cliche because, like all cliches, it is based in the truth.
We are influenced by people like us and people we want to be like. Even as adults. Why else would 40 year old women get boob jobs and tattoos, 50 year old men get hair plugs and convertibles, and 70 year old women get blue hair?
But I digress.
That is why it is so important to get as many testimonials from as many varied clients as possible. Obtain and post testimonials from men and women, young and old, black and white, impassioned and dry, skinny and fat (I can't bring myself to say "heavy set"). Video is best, audio is next, written is better than nothing.
How To Use Your Testimonials To Grow Your Sales
Once you secure the testimonials put them on your website, print them and have them handy as a booklet you can give to prospects you meet in person or can mail to prospects. I like to post the video testimonials to YouTube to benefit from the SEO boost YouTube provides, which helps drive traffic to my site.
That's all fine and Dandy, Wes, assuming I have testimonials in the first place. How do I go about getting them? I've never been any good at asking for testimonials."
You get testimonials by asking for testimonials. You get yourself to ask for testimonials by making it an integral part of your sales and marketing system. (You do have a system for your sales and marketing, right? Watch The Sales Whisperer® Way here to see mine.)
If you are nervous or have never been good at asking for testimonials ask yourself why that is.
- You provide great value to your clients, right?
- You go above and beyond your competition, affirmative?
- You provide a great warranty, reasonable terms, and top notch support, don't you?
- You actually give a sh*t about the well being of your clients and you make yourself available for them, correctamundo?
- You have some slick, cheesy, even dishonest rip-off artists for competitors that you need to keep away from your clients and prospects, true?
The Real Reason You Need Testimonials
Then ask for testimonials for all of those reasons above as well as the #1, most-overlooked, least-appreciated, least-understood reason of all to ask for testimonials: it reduces and even eliminates buyer's remorse.
Whether your client buys exactly what they think they want or you help them save some money by investing in a simpler model or you help them save time and money by investing in the more advanced model with the enhanced features they will reassure themselves—on record—by giving you a testimonial.
What this does, psychologically, to your client is act as a verbal pat on the back. They are reassuring themselves, which means the chances of them returning the unit or complaining about it or becoming a support nightmare are greatly diminished.
At the same time they are reassuring YOU that you are a good person, a good business person, a valuable member of the business community, not some sleaze bag swindler out to make a buck by hook or by crook. This will put a spring in your step, which will spill over into your next appointment.
While I'm not a big fan of The Secret or The Law of Attraction, (they're just mixing timeless religious truths with psychobabble and marketing it well to make a buck) your attitude does indeed affect your altitude, and an "attitude of gratitude" is contagious and attractive.
How beautiful is that? It's the gift that keeps on selling!
Is this work to create and implement? A little at first.
Will you do it? If you're smart you will.
Will you be nervous the first few times you ask? Yes.
Will you do a little jig when you get your first testimonial? You bet.
Will you feel humbled when you get a great testimonial? Oh yeah.
Will you form a tighter bond with your client that gives you a great testimonial? OMG. Like, totally. (A little California lingo there.)
So what's holding you back?
Many business owners and sales people focus so much energy on prospecting, presenting, overcoming objections and closing that they don't have any energy left to focus on where the money is: PERSUADING!
(It reminds me of the accountant who is covered up with accounting ledgers and spreadsheets and scratch paper and dull pencils with worn out erasers. When I ask him why he does all the math with pencil and paper he says "I'm too busy to run to the store to buy a calculator!")
Life is too short and prospects are too cautious and scammers are too prevalent to reach your sales and profit goals by your effort alone.
In the "Make Every Sale" series I am developing I delve into the leverage of testimonials and their power to persuade. So here's how you go about getting great testimonials to grow your business. You'll notice that like all things in life—from cooking to laying tile to preparing for a sports match—the real work is in the setup. The execution should be the fun, easy part.
- Commit to asking for testimonials from every client.
- Write it down as part of your formal process when working with new clients.
- Rehearse how you'll ask for testimonials.
- Get it out of the way up front by telling all new clients you'll be asking for a testimonial at the conclusion of a successful engagement.
- Give the happy client a script or outline or instructions on what you'd like them to say. Hint: get testimonials that address all of your major objections from prospects.
- Video is best. All iPhones and smartphones takes great videos, even in HD, and you don't leave home without it, so there is no excuse to not get video testimonials from your clients.
- If you can't get a video testimonial ask for an audio testimonial. I've used FreeConferenceCall.com for years for both conference calls and to record consulting sessions with clients. You can both call in and have the client record their testimonial and you can download the recording as a WAV or MP3 file and edit it on your computer. I use GarageBand on my Mac to edit audio files. My partner, Roger Bauer, The Search Engine Ninja, use Audacity on his PC to edit audio files for free.
- If you can't get an audio testimonial get a written testimonial and post it with a photo of them. Make sure their full name, company name and location are included in all testimonials. "J. Smith in GA" is a crappy testimonial because it doesn't seem real.
- Post links to these testimonials anywhere you can. Tweet about it. Put it on LinkedIn, on your Facebook Page, your website (duh), and in printed material such as direct mail and ads you run.
Jennifer was gracious enough to allow me to record her as I coached her in front of a live audience at my speaker training. This is how you get video testimonials to grow your sales.
You can do this. You need to do this. Get started today. If you need help let me know by contacting me here.