The Power of Proof – 6 Ways To Get Testimonials

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13th February 2018

Getting in front of a prospect is only a part of the selling process.

This is closely followed by having to convince them that you are THE solution to their problem (assuming you have correctly identified their problem of course!)

One of the strategies you should be using to convince your prospect is PROOF that you can deliver the solution they need. But this in itself is not enough, it also helps if you can show proof of having done it before – of having helped others who have had exactly the same problem as they are having.

One of the elements you should use – and which should be in every marketing arsenal – are testimonials.

Testimonials from satisfied customers are one of the best and most powerful assets you can build, but how do you go about collecting them?

Now let’s be clear – You’re not looking for the “John is a nice guy and easy to work with…” type comment.

You are looking for a powerful rave review which you can use to attract more customers and clients.

Here are my top tips for collecting effective testimonials which you can use to add power throughout your marketing.

1. Deliver a 'better-than-great' product or service

The first step – which should be obvious – is to make sure you have satisfied customers and clients. Your aim should be to EXCEED your customers’ expectations, not just meet them. Make sure you deliver the best service you can, which means in every contact any of your staff have with a customer. This is especially important in the event of a problem occurring, and can lead to the most powerful testimonials of all.

2. Ask for them!

Probably the most overlooked way of collecting testimonials is to ask your customers and clients for them. The bottom line is that you are unlikely to get a client writing to you out of the blue saying how wonderful you are (it does happen, but rarely) – it’s NOT second nature for most people.

Most people if asked will be willing to help, so give them a call or send them an email. You can say something along the lines of:

“Hi John, do you mind if I ask you a favour? I’m just updating my marketing materials and would like to include some examples of how I’ve helped some of the people I’ve worked with and I’d like to include you. Would you be willing to help me by writing down a couple of lines about how my product/service has specifically helped you? I’m looking to get this completed over the next 2 weeks, so if you could get something back to me by XXX, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.”

Give it a try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

3. Use examples relevant to you target prospects

If you are targeting accountants, then it doesn’t make sense using a testimonial from a painter and decorator. As I said at the beginning, people are looking for proof that you can help THEM with THEIR problem, so the nearer you can get to show them an example of how you helped someone with their particular problem, the stronger it will work for you, and the more confidence the prospect will have in choosing you.

If you don’t have testimonials in exactly the right market, simply choose one which is as close to the problem they are having as you can.

4. Use full contact details for added credibility

Testimonials aren’t worth the paper they are written on if they appear made up – you know the ones I mean, the ones you see in magazines “Mrs. L from Oxford.” The more information you can give about the person who wrote the testimonial – to prove the testimonials were provided by real people – the better. Pictures of the customer alongside the testimonial are an even more powerful way of adding to the credibility.

5. Use recordings and Videos

One step up from a picture of a happy customers is to use a video or audio recording. These are the most powerful ways of adding credibility to your testimonials and work especially well for use on you website. There is nothing more powerful than seeing a video of someone saying how good you were at solving their problem and the actual benefits they have received as a direct result of working with you.

There is also nothing to stop you sending a CD or DVD of testimonials to some of your prospects as part of your marketing package to add impact.

6. Automate the process

As you know I teach implementation of marketing systems. Systems are consistent and predictable. Look at ways to systemise the process of collecting testimonials from you clients. For example you can organise for a letter or email to go out to each client after 14 days to verify they are happy, but also ask for the testimonial (see the text example in point 2 above).
The thing to remember is this:

However you do it, collecting testimonials from happy clients will help you to break down some of the credibility barriers which prospects will put up and will make selling your product or service a whole lot easier.

What are your thoughts about testimonials? What experiences – good or bad – have you had?

If you would like to share any of your personal experiences, observations or the results you’ve achieved using these or similar tips, please leave your comments and/or thoughts below. I always love to hear from you:

Featured Photo by Vinicius Wiesehofer on Unsplash.com

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