How Do You Recognise A
Good Testimonial ?
Over the next two articles, I’ll be explaining how to use testimonials for maximum effect in your business.
I’ll be exploring the reasons why testimonials work, and how to recognise a good effective testimonial.
In my next post I’ll reveal the best ways to obtain great testimonials, and the most effective ways of using them.
“Get someone else to blow your horn
– and the sound will carry twice as far.”
Anyone who’s been in marketing for more than a day understands the value of customer testimonials.
In my opinion they are better than any other form of proof; a really good testimonial can prove any claim that you want to make about your product. To do this however, the testimonial needs to tick a number of boxes.
What Makes Testimonials So Effective?
They make your prospects less nervous about buying from you because they see that people like them have used your product or service with success.
It’s human nature – when prospects listen to your sales presentations or read your marketing message they will often think to themselves “Yes, but will this product or service actually do what they say it will for me, will it actually deliver the benefits that are being promised?”
Your prospect is desperate not to make a mistake. And when they are not convinced they will put off making any kind of decision, which includes buying or contacting you.
Testimonials have two effects:
1) They make your prospects less nervous about buying from you because they see that people like them have used your product or service with success.
In a testimonial, a third-party is endorsing your product or service in their own words. This “endorsement” is much more credible and convincing than you praising your own product!
2) Testimonials can also get your prospects excited about buying your product or service because they bring alive the results and benefits that others have achieved.
But remember, testimonials only work well if they are true and believable. And the closer you can get to the naked, un-edited truth, the stronger your sales message will be. When working with testimonials, ask yourself, “How can I convey this customer’s experience as dramatically and truly as possible?”
The bottom line is this: Testimonials are valuable in both the business to business sales environment and the consumer world. They are a great support element for successful marketing, and you’re missing out on sales if you aren’t using them.
So, as long as you’re in business, you need to be in the business of gathering testimonials. And I can’t think of ANY exceptions… you need testimonials whether you are a computer manufacturer or offer a janitorial service. You need them whether you run a nursery or if you have an established restaurant. All businesses benefit from having good testimonials!
How to Recognise A Good Testimonial
When it comes to proving your claims, I must stress the importance of not using testimonials that ‘sound like’ testimonials. There are plenty of these around and they are totally ineffective. For example………!!!
“We enjoyed your product, and we’ll definitely buy from you again.”
“Your sales people are really excellent, polite and responsive.”
“I really liked how your product worked. It’s fast and easy to use, and I’d recommend it to anyone”
These testimonials are awful! Because they are not pointing to any specific benefit that your prospect is hoping for when they buy your product or service.
Good testimonials come directly from actual customer experiences. They provide a detailed picture of how the prospect’s life or business has changed as a result of their purchase. They need to be anecdotal and ideally tell a story.
The best testimonials are those worded in a way that catches your prospects attention, conveys a positive message, and does so with credibility.
“A damn good juicy steak!” is a testimonial I’d much rather use than “It’s succulent and tasty.”
The “damn” arrests my attention, the choice of words is believable, and the effect of using an adjective like “juicy” almost makes the mouth water.
Here’s an actual example of a testimonial we recently received from one of our clients:
“From our very first call I knew Richard had understood what I was trying to do with my business.
His advice has enabled me to position my business as the experts in our industry.
Before Richard’s help my marketing would have been more of a play on words as opposed to value led. Following his advice, it has become focused on why our customers want to do business with us and how they benefit.
With Richard’s guidance I have learnt how to effectively communicate with prospects and follow through with a proven lead generation strategy.
Receiving Richard’s advice on a regular basis made me accountable, kept me on track and made things happen!
And finally – his writing skills, which I had the pleasure of having access to, were ‘brilliant’. With his help we transformed my own copy into professionally written and effective marketing material.”
Abigail Brown, Director, Openingz.com
Here’s another example that comes across as very anecdotal and genuine –
“Having had zero response to several adverts I decided it was time to get some marketing help. I was desperate to attract new business.
“A lot of time and effort was put in to understanding exactly what I was trying to achieve and whom I was aiming the letter at. This approach then tailored the content of the letter. Thus I got a product that is eye-catching and intriguing. Exactly what I was after.
Having the letter written for me was great as it freed up my time, my scarcest resource. Personally I am very impressed, the campaign is about to go live so fingers crossed the potential clients will be as spellbound!”
Paul Haigh, Begetube Heating Solutions
To be effective it is vitally important that the words used in your testimonials should:
* attract attention
* convey a benefit
* achieve credibility
A good third party testimonial which does this, and does it well, can be worth a small fortune. It’s worth investing your time to obtain as many as you can.
Watch out for the next update, when I will be revealing how to get testimonials that catch your prospects attention, convey a positive message, and do so with maximum credibility and impact.