Fear of making a purchase mistake is the main cause of most buyer delays. “I’ll look bad if I make the wrong choice. Maybe if I look further, I will find something better.” Testimonials from your satisfied customers can help reduce this purchase-decision fear. Here’s how to create the most effective testimonials.
Which are you more likely to believe: a network marketer telling you how great their product is, or a recommendation from another person about how it worked for them?
If you’re like most people, the words from a fellow consumer pull more weight than even the best written ad copy. That’s why no matter what product you’re selling, you need to use testimonials from satisfied customers in every ad and marketing piece you create.
One of the main reasons why people don’t buy something is that they’re fearful of making the wrong decision. So when they see that a product is endorsed by someone else—someone in their same situation—that fear is minimized. Therefore, testimonials are a great way of influencing others to feel comfortable about buying your products.
Unfortunately, few sales representative and distributors actively seek out testimonials from their customers. They mistakenly wait for people to give them testimonials, and when they do get them, they don’t know how to use them effectively. In reality, getting and using a list of strong testimonials is easier than you think. The following tips will help you get testimonials to increase your profits.
How to Get Customer Testimonials
Choose Satisfied Customers Who Represent Your Target Demographic
The best testimonials are written by people who are similar to your ideal customer. Therefore, be specific about who you solicit a testimonial from. Look over your customer files and choose the people who exemplify the best case scenario for your product. Say to them, “I’d love for you to share your experience with Product A. Would you please write a short testimonial?” Most people will cheerfully say yes. Since you want more happy customers just like these, let their words sell for you.
Offer to Write the Testimonial for Them
Often, if someone declines your request to write a testimonial, it’s because they’re too busy or feel they don’t have adequate writing skills. In that case, offer to write the testimonial for them. Simply say, “I’ll be glad to write the testimonial for you. Just tell me what you’d like to say about the product. You can review what I write and we can use it as is or you can change it.” Most people will leave the testimonial as is, happy they didn’t have to take the time to write it.
Look Through Your Past Notes and Correspondence for Words that Express Customer Satisfaction
Chances are you’re sitting on a pile of testimonials and don’t even know it. Go back through your past emails and correspondence from customers. Are there a few nice sentences in some of those messages? If so, ask the person if you can use their words in your marketing materials. They’ll often agree.
How to Write the Best Customer Testimonials
Show Results You Achieved for the Customer
Whether you write the testimonial or your customer does, it needs to specifically show what results the person experienced from the product. A testimonial that simply says what a wonderful company you have or how nice you are is not saying anything meaningful for the reader. A specific testimonial will speak to results, for example: “Dr. Slim’s diet regimen ended my 20-year battle with my weight.” “Everyone thinks Bling-Bling Betsy’s jewelry is real.” “BeautySkin cleared up my blemishes and I look 10 years younger.” The more specific a testimonial is, the stronger it sells for you. Specific testimonials take away the fear of making the wrong decision and help people feel safe about making the purchase.
Keep the testimonial Short
Each word of the testimonial should have value. Therefore, if someone writes you a page-long testimonial, edit out any words that don’t directly address the end result he or she received from your product. This doesn’t mean you change the meaning of what someone writes; you simply edit out the parts that don’t contribute to the meaning. For example, if someone writes an entire page about how your inkjet refill business saved them 25%, you can condense it to one sentence, as in “As a result of ABC Company, we saved 25% on our ink purchases.” Often, the more words you take out, the stronger the testimonial becomes. Also, it’s easier to read and will stand out more.
Include the Buyer’s Name and Title When Possible
Rather than attribute your testimonial to “John S., Nebraska,” use the person’s real name, company name, title, and/or location whenever possible, as in “John Sanders, salesperson at Acme Company,” or “John Sanders, Omaha, Nebraska.” This makes your testimonial more believable. Most people will be happy to include their full name and other information, because the strongest human desire is to feel appreciated and recognized. Getting their name in print somewhere fulfills that need and is often perceived as fun.
How to Use The Testimonials Once You Have Created Them
Include a Testimonial or Two in Your Ads and Marketing Kit
Whether you’re doing postcards, websites, social media, blogs, letters, or even phone calls, be sure to include some testimonials. It’s best to have testimonials stand alone from the text rather than try to weave them into the ad copy. Other marketing pieces that should feature your testimonials include your web site, brochures, direct mail pieces, and newsletters.
Create a Book of Testimonials
Each time you receive a kind letter from a customer, highlight the key parts (the parts that state benefits to the customer), put the letter in a clear plastic sleeve, and compile it in a big binder. Keep this book or binder of testimonials in your car or home (for home parties) for customers to browse through while they’re waiting. Or, if your business is online, create a page where you feature all your testimonials. There’s no limit to how many testimonials you can include in your book or on your page.
Frame Your Best Testimonials and Display Them
If you have home parties or a home office, frame some of your best testimonial letters and post them on your walls. Again, highlight the best parts so your customers can easily see the benefits. If you don’t get foot traffic (or if you go to your customers), put the best testimonial letters in your “leave behind” kit—the package of information you leave behind for the prospect.
Customer Testimonials: The Ultimate Sales Tool
The next time you’re writing copy for a marketing piece (and struggling with what information to include) simply go to your past testimonials. It’s always better when someone else sings your praises, so let your customer sell for you. The sooner you start using testimonials in every marketing message you create, the sooner you’ll realize that testimonials really are the ultimate sales tool.