Think about the last time you were looking to hire a contractor, or some type of professional for a service. Or, say, the last time you were about to purchase an expensive item.
Who did you consult with before making your decision? Did you ask a friend or colleague for recommendations? Did you consult a consumer report about the expensive item’s performance?
Just like you and I, most people would. You see, word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing out there. Buyers want to confirm that they’re making the right decision by hearing about positive experiences from other buyers and friends.
As a business owner, you can use testimonials to harness the power of word of mouth marketing. Testimonials will help overcome objections and break down barriers in the sales process. Prospects weighing their purchase decisions will have more confidence knowing that someone else has had a positive experience or seen the promised results.
A strong testimonial program will generate more conversions, bigger sales, more credibility and more qualified leads. Sound good?
If you’re going to go to the effort of collecting testimonials, do what you can to make sure that they’re credible ones you can use.
Testimonials need to be used strategically to maximize their value and their impact on your business.
Let’s say you were reading a brochure about a new product that you were interested in purchasing. The copy describing the product claims that it is the ‘best product you’ll ever use’ and that the quality ‘far exceeds the competition.’ That might be true, but I bet you’re a little sceptical.
Next to the sales copy, there is a quote from a customer that reads, “Exceptional customer service. The salespeople made every effort to ensure I found what I needed, and left the store happy.”
What does that do to increase your confidence in the product? Does it help to eliminate some of your skepticism? Probably not. It’s just telling you that you’ll be treated well in the store.
In order for you to really harness the power of testimonials in your marketing materials, you have to put some thought into where you place them and why. They need to support the message you’re trying to communicate, even though the words aren’t yours. They need to make sense in the context of where they’re used.