As customers become more cautious and more skeptical, so does the need for great testimonials become more critical. Most of us have a few testimonials, but almost no one has a process for systematically going after them as a strategic priority. Social proof is one of the most powerful selling tools available and Business Pros Marketing make it a priority to obtain it and provide it to prospects.
Here are two ideas for generating testimonials that I have found to be effective.
I have my phone set up, so that I can record directly to my computer, using the Sound Recorder function. I use it for when I am doing consulting on the phone. This way I can produce a CD of suitable discussions, or develop transcripts. However it has another very powerful use and that is for recording testimonials.
Whenever you are talking with a client on the phone, and you receive a compliment or have just completed a significant piece of work, you should ask for a testimonial. Tell the client how important testimonials are for you and how they help you keep marketing costs down, and most people will be happy to oblige. Ask the client to give it to you right over the phone and record it there and then. Of course you have to tell the client you are recording it and you have to ask for permission to use what they say.
Once you have a recording, you can transcribe it and send it back to your client asking them to put it on letter head and to sign it. Alternatively you can put it as an audio track or as text on your web site. For an example of this visit our web site and listen to the audio track from a recent conference call, where we had several graduates of our More Business For Your Business coaching program talking about their experiences.
Another way to really boost the number of testimonials is to run a contest for your customers. Bill Phillips of Body For Life, holds a contest every year to find out who in his customer base has had the most dramatic improvement in their body as a result of his program. He offers very generous prizes. Up to a million dollars in prize money is offered.
The contest rules are very effective in generating the right kind of testimonials. First you have to supply before and after pictures. In addition you have to write an essay on how BFL has changed your life. The right to use your entry as promotional material is written into the entry process. This ensures BFL has a steady stream of testimonials every year. Visit Body For Life to see how they do it.
You may not have a large sum of money to offer as a prize, but with some ingenuity, Business Pros Marketing can find creative ways to offer very attractive prizes that will encourage people to enter. Use the best testimonials to promote your business. Use them in direct mail, in your advertising, on your web site, arm your sales people with them…..use them anywhere you can.