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The Power of Collecting Testimonials

Every business experiences rocky periods when sales seem to stagnate. The question is how do you prevent these times from turning into a pattern? As a successful business owner, I’ve learned to help “storm-proof” my company against financial difficulties through the power of customer testimonials. I don’t think there’s any marketing asset more valuable than personal stories from satisfied customers. Yet, most businesses under-use this power. Entrepreneurial expert, Dan Kennedy, says “What your customers say about you is 1,000 times more persuasive than what you say about you, even if you are 1,000 times more articulate and eloquent.”

For this reason, I recommend collecting all the testimonials you can, especially diverse endorsement from young people, adults, men, and women. You want to support every benefit of your business with different testimonials that are emotional, not just factual. People respond to testimonials that they can identify with – “Oh, that person’s talking a situation just like mine – I’m just like them.”

A lot of businesses spend serious money getting a fancy, slick, full-color, brochure made about their company, and then send it whenever somebody calls, or walks in, or whatever. However, there’s a tool to replace that piece that costs less and works a lot better. I recommend creating a testimonial booklet with numerous little stories that hit the emotional “hot buttons” of prospects. Give people the opportunity to find somebody with whom they can identify.

Don’t make your booklet slick or fancy. I actually make my company’s version look sort of homemade. We think that style makes it more interesting and more likely to get read. Our customers like being included, and some request to be included when we revise it. This booklet has been a breakthrough marketing tool for me, and I urge all business owners to create one of your own.

When I put my first testimonial booklet together, I already had a lot of endorsements on file. But, I wanted to see what I might stir up that would be better, so I created a testimonial contest. We sent out a letter to past customers that explained the contest and got flooded with great testimonials in return. Every month, as part of my company’s promotional process, we also ask customers to give us a written paragraph or two of commentary about the benefits they’ve received.

You cannot over-use your testimonials. Use them in your advertising, your flyers, your postcards, your newsletters, and your product manuals. Use them in internal marketing to reinforce the benefits being delivered. Likewise, display them in external marketing to attract new students.

Storm-proofing your business means enabling potential customers to trust you and feel confident about using your product. No matter how hard you try to promote yourself, no one is more believable than satisfied customers. Use the power of testimonials to help overcome a prospect’s skepticism and feel excited about doing business with you.

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