Why more SMEs should be using testimonials to get customers – we show you how
Everyone thinks that love is always about the actual relationship, however, when it comes to testimonials what will entice your prospect to fall in love with your product is the before and after story.
What will meaningfully influence and attract prospects is if they can get an insight into the transition that your customers have enjoyed by using your product or service. What were the challenges that those customers were experiencing before and now, after using your offering, how have those challenges been resolved?
A lot of testimonials are non-specific and contain vague niceties about the product. They don’t get to the heart of the matter and inspire your potential buyer.
Testimonials that tell a compelling story and allow your prospect to relate to the before and after experience of the person providing the testimonial, are very powerful in sales conversion.
It’s no secret: we tend to follow the behaviour of others like us. It’s called social proof. When we see others doing something we tend to feel that this is the correct behaviour. We automatically build objections to a marketing pitch but testimonials help us to overcome these by showing us that yes, this product has worked for people just like us.
A Testimonial In Action
As an example, I recently received an excellent testimonial from a client who has a team performance business. Here’s an excerpt from it:
“Thank you very much for the very worthwhile Marketing Mentoring sessions. Previously I had no logical approach to my Marketing activities – they were just hit and miss in attracting customers.
Now I have a logical step by step process that will enable me to create a desired market footprint for my services. I have a practical marketing tool which will highlight what works well and what needs to be changed.”
So how to do you collect the right type of testimonials? Once your customers have agreed to provide a testimonial, make the process as easy as possible for them.
Ask them if you can e-mail them a couple of questions to think about, such as:
- What challenges were you experiencing before using the product or service?
- Have those challenges been resolved or alleviated since using the product?
- Describe the transition that you have experienced and why this has been important to you?
Organise a 10 minute Skype or telephone call with them to obtain their answers and from these draft a compelling testimonial for their approval. If possible, obtain a photograph of your customer as it makes the testimonial that much more real.
Include the testimonials on your website as they act as silent salesmen and have been recorded as increasing website sales by as much as 15%. Don’t just place them on one page of your website, include them throughout the website.
If you have a team of staff, use the positive feedback as a team motivator, recognising and celebrating your staff’s contribution in delivering an excellent service.
Include the testimonials in both your offline and online sales presenters. If you can, encourage your clients to place their testimonials on your business social media pages.
In enticing your prospect into a long term relationship with your product, word of mouth or testimonials, are the most powerful way to sell your brand.
About the author: Shirley Anthony is an author, speaker and owner of Marketing Breakthroughs, a marketing consultancy operating for over twenty years. Having initially gained corporate experience in fast-moving consumer-goods branding, she has consulted in over twenty-five industries, including cellular, information technology, travel, engineering, food, cosmetics, architecture and banking.