A testimonial is a written or spoken statement – extolling the virtue of your product, service or company – which is then used in the promotion of your product, service or company.
To be effective, a testimony should be from a person with a similar profile as the people in your target market. The power of using testimonies is their ability to speak directly to your target audience, from outside of your marketing machine. Having a customer, peer, industry expert, analyst, etc., extolling the value and benefits of your offering, is incredibly powerful"?¦the most powerful endorsement of your offering available. It´s compelling reason to believe in your ability to deliver the value and benefits you promise. As a form of reference, it gives a level of assurance to others not yet familiar with your company or offering. Testimonials provide a level of comfort in engaging with your company.
How do you get testimonials? Assuming you deliver a quality product or service, it´s easier and more natural than many people believe. Here´s some tips to get you started using testimonies:
- Look within written communications between your company and satisfied customers. Find the compliment on your quality, timeliness, dedication, etc.
- When you receive a compliment, either spoken or in writing, ask at that time if it´s okay to share that comment with others.
- Call one of your favorite and most satisfied customers, your fans, and ask them to share a few words on why they value a relationship with your company.
- Don´t cheat. Never put words in someone´s mouth. If you offer real value and benefits, you´ll have no problems getting quality testimonies.
- Ask the person giving the testimony before it´s used. While not required in all cases, I find it a courtesy.
- Whenever possible, always provide the name, title, and company of the person giving the testimony.
So, look for testimonials and integrate them into your sales and marketing activities – brochures, web-site, sales letters, ets. Remember, it´s worth saying again"?¦ testimonials give compelling reason to believe in your ability to deliver the value and benefits you promise. And reason to believe in your ability to deliver the benefits you offer is key to shortening sales cycles, minimizing competitive pressure, and maximizing the value of your average sale.