Testimonials may sound like a trivial thing to have in but they’re one of the most powerful tools any business can have yet so many don’t use them to their full potential.
What makes them powerful?
The reason why any sensible business owner sees a testimonial like gold dust is because it’s “social proof” of your business and the level of service afforded to those clients. You’re wholly expected to be pushing and up-selling your own products as you’re the one looking to sell them but endorsement from a third party is viewed by others as a more honest assessment of your capabilities. The sight of someone from outside of the business’ praises of your products can convince more people than even some of the best salesmen and women in the world.
A statistic which show their value is that 90% of people aren’t convinced by a restaurant’s own review of their food and would rather listen to the reviews of the general public.
Harnessing the power
The overall quality of testimonials does vary from the very basic “this product was great, I would recommend it” which doesn’t state what it is about the product that made it great, to the very best which give a detailed breakdown of what was provided and how it benefited the client.
If you get the chance then ask your clients to give as much feedback as possible because the more information they give the more they’re selling your products for you. As any businessman knows it takes a lot of effort to convince customers that you’re able to follow through on the promises you’ve made.
Testimonials provide that proof.
Some clients may take their time when it comes to delivering a testimonial after they’ve agreed to write one. A simple way around this is to suggest drafting something for them to review and confirm the points they are wanting to make before completing it yourself.
Be certain to get the client’s approval on the matter before publishing it.
How to judge the validity of a testimonial
They’re simple to write and anyone can do it.
Make sure that your testimonials seem genuine when they’re read.
If someone is writing a testimonial, particularly in a B2B situation, make sure they list their full name, position and company name. It puts a name to the article and will convince people that there is a real person behind it instead of “Mr J from Margate”
A slightly trickier reinforcement to receive is a photograph of the testimonial’s author.
Arguably the best form of testimonial comes in video format so everyone can see and hear a client’s personal account but are incredibly rare and difficult to produce due to lack of available time to do it.
These little tips will help cast away any doubts customers may have.
Where to put them?
Testimonials should be placed anywhere and everywhere within reason to give the broadest sense of how great your business is.
Websites are the obvious choice initially and it’s advisable to have a page dedicated to testimonials as well as the odd couple scattered across any relevant pages.
Don’t be afraid to use them in pieces such as emails or direct mail if they are relevant and you can accommodate them.
If you hadn’t before then hopefully now you see the value of testimonials and have a few new ways to use them boost your business.