Copyright 1998 Bob Leduc
One of the most valuable marketing tools for a business is the testimonials it receives
from satisfied customers. Yet, many businesses never use these testimonials in their sales
Testimonials are valuable proof to prospective customers that your product or service
actually delivers the benefit you claim it will. In some ways, testimonials are like
referrals. A customer coming to you by referral from one of their friends or acquaintances
is already pre-committed to
do business with you. You don't have to convince them that your product or service will
provide the benefit they seek.
Your ability to deliver is already "guaranteed" by the person giving the
referral. Testimonials from satisfied customers provide that same assurance to a potential
customer coming to you without a
referral. In every test I performed using the same messages with and without testimonials,
those with testimonials increased sales, often by as much as 65% or more.
HOW TO GET GOOD TESTIMONIALS
Satisfied customers will occasionally call or write to you expressing their appreciation
without any prompting from you. If you've been in business for some time you probably
already have a file of these. However, if you're new in business you may have few or none
of these "spontaneous
testimonials". How can you get some... and get them fast?
Here's a simple procedure any business can use effectively.
A short time after completing a transaction, send your customer or client a personal
postcard asking what they liked best about your product or service. You'll be amazed at
some of the glowing comments you'll get. When you receive comments you want to use in your
advertising, simply ask the customer to sign a release giving you permission to quote
those comments in your promotional material.
The release form I use includes the full text of the customer's comments. I request
permission to use the comments "in complete or edited form" so I can shorten the
text when it's too long. I also request permission to use the customer's name, city and
state so it appears as "Ann Smith, Austin, TX" instead of "A.S., TX".
The customer's privacy is protected by omitting the street address.
HOW TO USE TESTIMONIALS EFFECTIVELY
My online and print sales letters usually include 3 testimonials. Each one is only 2 or 3
lines plus the
customer's name, city and state. Be sure to select testimonials stating a specific benefit
gained by using your product or service. A testimonial saying, "I bought your widget
and am very happy with it" won't motivate anybody else to buy your widget.
use testimonials like this actual testimonial I received from one of my customers:
"Hi Bob. I purchased your manual and used one of the ideas to do a mailing which
received about a 10% response rate." That's a powerful testimonial and I use it
regularly in my promotional material. It states specifically what the customer gained by
ordering my manual.
What do testimonials cost? Nothing! They're FREE! I've learned by experience that some
customers get offended if I offer to pay for the right to quote their comments. Therefore,
I don't offer any compensation. I simply send the release form with a pre-stamped return
envelope and ask them to sign and return the form. I don't remember the last time somebody
refused my request.
If you're not using testimonials in your promotional material, start using them today.
Begin by looking in your customer files for comments you can use. Send postcards to some
recent customers asking what they liked most about your product or service. Get permission
to quote their comments
and include them in your sales material. You'll soon discover FREE testimonials have the
amazing power to increase your sales and profits without increasing your costs.
Bob Leduc retired from a 30 year career of recruiting sales personnel and developing sales
leads. He is now a Sales Consultant. Bob recently wrote a manual for small business owners
titled "How to Build Your Small Business Fast With Simple Postcards" and several
other publications to help
small businesses grow and prosper. For more information...
Email: BobLeduc @aol.com Subject:
Phone: (702) 658-1707 (After 10 AM Pacific time)
Or write: Bob Leduc, PO Box 33628, Las Vegas, NV 89133