Monday, August 13, 2007

Do Client Testimonials Work?

Testimonials are intermediated word-of-mouth marketing, and they do work when credible. In fact they work very well indeed if you work hard to get the right kind of testimonial. They can provide the much-needed social proof that tips a wavering prospect into a paying customer.

It’s hard to sing your own praises, and it rarely works when you do. In a testimonial, you have a third party saying what you might not be able to. Effective testimonials avoid hyperbole and specifically address a potential sticking point that a prospect might arrive at.

Here are five tips for making good use of testimonials:

  1. Don’t over-edit. Testimonials work best when they are in “real” language. Those small grammar and language quirks help the reader connect and demonstrate they are real.

  2. Use testimonials that fit. Place appropriate testimonials along with a particular point that you are trying to make.

  3. Address objections. If a prospect discovers that another customer’s worries have proved groundless, then that person is more confident to reach for the wallet (or into their budget).

  4. Never fake it. While testimonials are crucial, it’s not worth the risk to fake them. Most people have well-trained BS detectors that can smell a fake a mile away.

  5. Encourage specifics. Specificity works - and it is especially effective in a testimonial. Rather than “we saw a big improvement,” get your customer to state exactly what the improvement was, such as “we saw a 217% improvement.”

Ask for testimonials!

If a customer ever tells you how much they value your service or asks what they can do for you, ask them for a testimonial. In fact, even if they don’t, ask anyway! Testimonials are that valuable.

Thanks to Chris Garrett for the tips!

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