What if I told you there was an easy way to dramatically help you increase your sales without spending a dime… you’d be interested, right? Of course. And better yet, what if it was easy to implement?
We’ve may have never met, but I bet a major portion of your business comes from referrals. It comes from satisfied customers who talk about your work with their friends, colleagues, and people on the street.
Why not take the power of those satisfied customers and use it to help new prospects decide to spend their money with you?
There’s no better way than to showcase your work and build your credibility than through testimonials, case studies, and endorsements. These can be displayed in your offices, included in your marketing materials, used on your website, and featured in your advertising.
Building trust and credibility are major factors in the buying process. Although the use of customer testimonials may seem ridiculously low-tech in today’s world of big-budget marketing campaigns, it is a proven and successful method that really works for companies of all sizes. If you’re not including customer testimonials in every aspect of your marketing, you’re more likely to lose sales unnecessarily.
Imagine how easy it would be to differentiate yourself from the competition if a prospect saw your “Wall of Fame” in your office. The “Wall of Fame” approach is simply a prominent wall or display space dedicated to framed letters, photos and testimonials. I know one company that took a photo of every satisfied customer before they left the premises. They attributed an increase in sales of at least 30 percent to their efforts.
Think about how powerful your website would be if you included testimonials on your homepage, “About Us” page, and product detail pages. You can also add a testimonial submission form on your website where customers can go and send you their feedback.
Don’t forget testimonials in your traditional marketing either. If you’re sending out a direct-mail post card for an upcoming promotion or special event, include a couple of powerful testimonials. Don’t try to cram in too many, just one or two well-written, specific endorsements of your products and services will suffice in most cases. The more expensive the product or service, the more testimonials you’ll want to use.
Testimonials can really punch up your print, TV and radio advertising too. Look around and see how often TV and radio commercials feature testimonials, or how often you read them in print ads. They are everywhere in successful marketing because they work.
In essence, your customers are helping you make sales through third-party endorsements.
A testimonial is a brief statement of satisfaction from someone who has done business with you (usually satisfied customers or vendors). Customer testimonials can take many forms. The best is a video testimonial—perfect for creating a demo video to loop on a TV in your shop or for your website.
The next best would be an audio testimonial, great for websites or your music-on-hold systems. Another great format would be a photo testimonial with a written endorsement. And finally there’s the simple written testimonial that can be used as part of your sales brochures or advertising.
Testimonials don’t need to be long, but they do need to communicate value. For maximum effect, they should describe a specific and measurable benefit. It’s best if you can include the person’s and/or the firm’s name, but this may not be practical, depending upon your business. You can always say “a leading supplier” or just use their initials or first name.
Avoid non-specific testimonials because they don’t create as much credibility. They may be sincere, but generic “you’re terrific!” notes don’t express specific benefits.
How Do You Get Testimonials?
This is the hard part… you just ask! It really is that simple. When you’ve completed a new or especially noteworthy transaction, ask that customer to fill out a feedback form.
Or you can mail a form along with a thank you letter, but it’s usually easier to get their input while they are in your store. Remember, you can use a video camera, digital camera or voice recorder to capture the gems. There are no excuses; you can pick up a video camera for a couple hundred bucks or even use your cell phone camera, making the cost negligible.
Soliciting and using customer testimonials increases credibility, builds buyer confidence and helps you grow your business. Start today and make it your mission to compile your arsenal of testimonials.