They build trust and overcome scepticism, and, unlike many other forms of communication that make promises to potential clients, testimonials are seen as credible because your product or service is being promoted for you by satisfied clients.
Testimonials can help you to improve your credibility and trust by allowing sincere and satisfied customers to express their positive experiences with you or your company, as well as adding a human element to your marketing to engage prospective clients on a “heart” level as well as a “head” level. They are also one of the easiest and most cost-effective marketing methods out there – it costs nothing to ask a client for a testimonial, which can then be used on multiple platforms, such as your website, brochures, sales presentations, social media networking and newsletters.
Here are some points on getting and using great testimonials:
• Effective testimonials are specific – they focus on the actual experienced advantages of the product or service and how these benefited the customer personally. A statement from a client saying your product is “nice” is far less effective than one from someone who praises your level of professionalism and ability to deliver on time and on budget.
• The best testimonials are delivered by people with whom your target audience will be able to identify. This is why a testimonial from a real-life customer is often more effective than a celebrity endorsement.
• Powerful testimonials substantiate your claims, quantifiably. If you say your product will achieve something within a specific timeframe, your testimonials should back this up. Details of how much money your client saved, how your product solved his problem or how your service improved her life are vital points to include.
• Influential testimonials include some personal information to allow viewers to connect on an emotional level. For example, if your product pertains to moms with children, your testimonial should be delivered by a mother and information should be included on the names and ages of her children to enforce the fact that this is a real-life situation.
• Don’t be shy to ask for testimonials, but only ever ask clients who were 100% happy with your service or product. Follow up with a client after the job is complete and ask her whether she was satisfied. If she responds with an emphatic “yes”, say something along the lines of the following: “I’m glad you were happy the work I did for you. One of the ways that I build my business is through collecting testimonials. Would you be willing to put your experience of working with me into a few sentences that I could use as a testimonial?”
• Once you have testimonials, use them on your website and in your marketing collateral. You might also ask your client to use the function on LinkedIn to recommend you and your work.
About Donna Rachelson
Rachelson is a branding and marketing specialist who uses her passion and 25 years of experience in strategy, marketing and change management to empower people and teams to achieve breakthrough results.
She is the founder of Branding & Marketing YOU. The company offers keynote presentations, workshops, strategic marketing consulting, coaching and support services. She is also the author of the best-selling book Branding & Marketing YOU, the first South African-based personal branding and marketing book.
For more information on Rachelson or Branding & Marketing YOU, visit www.brandingandmarketingyou.com.