Testimonials Are Necessary
Testimonials are not only powerful marketing tools, they’re necessary ones. Testimonials are reassuring social proof that your business and your services deliver on their promises.
Gather Ye Rosebuds
Every satisfied client is an opportunity for a new testimonial. Ideally, you want to get those on letterhead at least – letterhead is much more powerful than plain text. Video testimonials are also very powerful, and even short audio clips can help drive your business. A Flip camera (or even your smartphone!) is a great tool for grabbing fast video testimonials.
Don’t put this off – the time to gather testimonials is right after the product or service is delivered. There just isn’t the same power and enthusiasm when you call up a year later and have to remind them who you are before asking for the testimonial.
There’s Nothing Like The Thud
There’s nothing like the thud of a thick binder filled with twelve pounds of testimonials hitting the table during a sales call. It’s very reassuring to the potential client. A consultant I know has a heavy binder with over two hundred pages of testimonial letters. Flipping through page after page of letterhead attesting to the effectiveness of his services is a very convincing experience, and that heavy binder has closed tens of thousands of dollars of business for him.
Put ‘Em On The Web
In today’s market, those testimonials, or at least a couple of dozen of the best and most influential, need to be scanned into PDF files and put up on your website. The only exception would be if your business is truly made vulnerable by telling your competitors who your clients are… but in most cases, they already know, or could certainly find out with a morning’s worth of phone calls.
Adding photos to testimonials adds to their credibility, so if you don’t have them, ask for them… or ask if you can use an image from Facebook or LinkedIn. You can also grab a quick shot with your smartphone, digital camera, or ask permission to use their logo in place of a photo if the client is camera-shy. Since it’s extra promotion for them, most will agree. Smiling faces really add credibility to your testimonials.
The Most Powerful Testimonial
Testimonials have to be sincere, authentic, and definitely not cookie-cutter to be at their most effective. It helps a lot if the reader identifies with the person giving the testimonial. Here’s a testimonial power tip I originally heard from marketing wonder Naomi Dunford at Ittybiz. It works particularly well for video testimonials.
Start the testimonial with doubts… even fear. When the person giving the testimonial talks about how they weren’t sure your product or service would be worth it, how they doubted you, and then goes on to talk about the incredible results they received, your testimonial will be far more believable. People will pay attention to it, align with it, and trust the testimonial more than they will a pure “rah rah” one.
Good Tools Help
There’s a Plugin for WordPress Websites called Testimonials Manager by Gobala Krishnan. The plugin creates a Testimonials Widget you can place in any sidebar, adds an image or a Gravatar to testimonials, and provides a link to the website of the person providing the testimonial.
You can choose to rotate testimonials in the sidebar, and control the number of rotating testimonials in the widget controls, as you’ll see in the adjacent image.
The Testimonials Manager Plugin even resizes images automatically. It also creates a new Testimonials page on your WordPress site, and lists all testimonials there.
Your 10 Minute Marketing Action Step for today is to go to your website and evaluate how your testimonials look. Are they credible, believable, sincere… or even there? Are there pictures of the client? Do you offer links to full page testimonial letters? What could you do to improve your testimonials, starting today?