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Boost your chances of success 29% ... Here's how!

Boost your chances of success 29% ... Here's how!

May 19, 2011

I'm going to share with you one of my best kept secrets. When working with our clients on their marketing, one the first things we look for are testimonials. This one ad by one of our clients, which is nothing more than a testimonial, generated more business than any other ad!

Testimonials are so vital to your business that I've seen figures showing that they can increase your chance of success 29%!

This single 2 x 5 ad generated more business than any other advertising for a Tucson Chiropractor. Why? Because it contains the elements of a great testimonial. (1) It offers a promise. (2) It taps into the pain and frustration prospects also feel. (3) The story is filled with specifics, which makes it compelling and credible. Best of all, it costs nothing to create.

Testimonials are by far one of the fastest and most dramatic tools you can use to boost your response rates, whether it's online, direct mail or in your ads. But most companies don't use them and those that do usually blow it!

Don't believe me? Let me ask you a question: what do you think is more important to a prospect, what you say about yourself or what somebody else says about you?

So if it's more important to have someone else talk about you why do we spend so much time boasting about ourselves?

I'll tell you why. Because getting good testimonials aren't easy. Here are my top 6 tips to getting great testimonials that will boost sales right away.

1. Don't wait! When you sell something and someone is pleased with you - capture a testimonial RIGHT AWAY! And ask them if you can use it in your future marketing. Be sure to get their permission to use their full name and the city and state they live in. It adds more credibility. Most people are glad to let you use their full information. If not, just use their last name and city and state.

2. Always be ready. How many times have you run into a customer who tells you, 'Oh, I was telling my friend just the other day about you and what you're doing.' Instead of thinking, 'If I had a nickel for every time I heard that '' grab them right there and ask the person to repeat what he or she said. Capture it on video on your cell phone. Ask them point blank, 'Why did you chose our services and why are you happy with us?' It may seem awkward when you ask, but do it anyway. Truthfully, many people are flattered that you would ask.

3. Turn it into an event. We once set up a video shoot for a client in which dozens of people were invited to come into the office and share their 'before and after stories' with an interviewer. Everyone was excited about being part of a video shoot so they were very willing to come in and share their story. It was a goldmine with one testimonial after another! The testimonials were then edited and put on the website and on DVD to send to prospects. Cost: $400 for 5 hours of video shooting and editing.

Sounds like work doesn't it? It is. The truth is most people see getting testimonials as a hassle and wait until the last minute before they finally ask, 'Would you mind sending me a testimonial about our products and services?'

And guess what they get. Either they get nothing because the client doesn't get around to it. Or they get a testimonial that doesn't say anything. Something too general such as, 'Uh... It was great doing business with David.'

Have them retell their story. Most people love to do this. Don't be afraid to structure testimonials to your benefit. If clients are satisfied, they will be happy to help you. Here are more examples.

3 more tips to get testimonials:

4. Your testimonials should serve as a mirror. This is critical. Most businesses try to get celebrities to do their testimonials but unless you have a big budget this probably isn't practical. Rather, use your best customers who look like the customers you want to attract. Your prospects should 'see' themselves in the person giving the testimonial. If your target market is made up mostly of retirees, include them in your testimonials.

5. Use your customers to overcome the objections in your prospects minds. It's much more powerful if a customer says, 'I shopped around and even though there's always someone who may offer it cheaper I couldn't find anyone who would get it done right the first time like Stan's Carpet Cleaning did. In the long run I know I'm saving $300 a year.' Action item: make a list of the 5 objections you face and get 5 testimonials that overcome those objections.

6. Be specific. The more details you can offer in the testimonial. Have the person tell about their experiences in as much detail as possible. And most importantly, be sure to include specific results.

Here's another example: 'After refinancing, I'm saving $763 every month and I no longer have to worry about writing 7 different checks at the end of the month. I just write one check now, I no longer have any credit card bills to worry about and I got a lower rate on my mortgage!'
- L. Donahue, Salt Lake City, UT

Try these tips the next time you get testimonials to get a better response -- fast!

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,

Jon

Jon Goldman, President