Win More Business With Customer
How To Get More Of Them And Use Them
To Increase Sales
How many more deals would you close if you used client
testimonials more often? Before you can use them, you have to get those glowing
testimonials about you and your business to show to your prospects. Then
you can turn them into profits by using them more effectively to attract
new customers. Read on for several ways to apply this influential and
What Is A Testimonial?
A testimonial is a positive statement about your product or service. It's
a description of a great benefit or advantage your clients experience as a
result of working with you. It's
a compliment on your knowledge or skills.
Regardless of their form, testimonials are the most powerful sales and
marketing tools. Why? Because what they really are is referrals
from satisfied customers.
Different Types Of Testimonials
There are many variations of testimonials. Many companies fail to realize the
marketing capital they'd possess if they gathered testimonials in all forms.
Testimonials vary in how they are captured and then re-presented. They can
be any of the following:
- Quote: These are the one or two sentences, in quotation marks,
that are attributed to a customer and placed in your marketing.
- Appreciation letter: This a letter on your client's company
letterhead that thanks you for a job well done, or praises your technology.
- Reference letter: This is differentiated from an appreciation
letter in that it is a concrete referral of you or your company, i.e.
"I would recommend you to anyone seeking…"
- Case study: This is your documentation of the process with a
client that you assisted, possibly with the complete story from end to
end. This reveals your methodology beyond a product or service and
demonstrates your ability to solve a prospect's problem.
- Verbal introduction: This is seldom used but is practical and
affordable. You want to have an associate introduce you to one or more
of their contacts via phone or in person at a networking event. They
start off with their own personal testimonial about you.
- Speaker introduction: If you have the opportunity to address
a group then have the person introducing you act as a testimonial to
your expertise and experience. It is imperative that you write a brief
2-3-sentence introduction for them. The person introducing you is
usually the leader of a group and a trusted center of influence within
the organization or association to whom you are speaking.
How To Get Testimonials
You can get testimonials without much more effort than you are expending
now. All it takes is some intent and a little planning so you remember to
be on the look out for these opportunities, and capture them when they
happen. It is a simple two-step process:
- Ask: If you perceive that your customer is at the peak of
client satisfaction upon completion of a project or product delivery, ask for a testimonial of some sort.
- Capture: This is the weakest link in gathering clients'
positive comments. You must write down spontaneously spoken statements
and ask the person if you can quote them. Ask for their business card and write
the quotation on the back immediately.
Different Ways To Capture Testimonials
You have several methods at your disposal. You have to take advantage
- Documentation: Make it your responsibility and not the
client's. Do a post-sales interview with a set list of questions. Ask
them if you may choose a few comments from what they've said and put
them in a letter. E-mail it to them and have it printed out on
their letterhead. This way, all they have to do is sign it (with any
desired edits) and return it. You might also get snippets from
feedback forms after a presentation or seminar.
- Photography: Take pictures of happy clients shaking your hand
in front of their office buildings. You can place a quote from the
owner or executives in the caption for your photo. The Internet is
graphically based, so put some snapshots of these visual testimonials on your site.
- Audio: Whenever you speak publicly, or even in a sales
presentation, consider using a microphone and recorder. Digital is the
best and allows you to create sound bytes for your Web site. You might
also think of creating a whole audiotape to present your best case
- Video: This media gives you a visual and audio
presentation of your happy customers. It can include your clients'
corporate logos (recognized brands are great) and names with titles as
subtitles that are favorable to your company and products.
How To Use Testimonials
Once you have a collection of testimonials, you want maximum leverage from
them to win new customers. It's a shame to walk through a business where
all they can do is point to their "Wall of Fame" with two to
ten-year old testimonial letters on faded, sun-bleached papers. Respect
the power of testimonials and use them more appropriately in any, or all,
of the ways listed below.
- Web site: Place one or two per Web page related to the topic
covered on each of those Web pages.
- E-mail signature: Instead of a standard e-mail signature, put a
short quote from a client that raves about your company, with a link to your Web site
following it. Change them monthly to continually market to regular
- E-zine or newsletters: Have a testimonial section, or case
studies with customer quotes.
- Brochure: Don't just talk about your technology. List
several testimonials in your brochure that let your customers sell for
you. Let them reveal how great you are and how much they recommend you
to the readers.
- Business Card: If you put something on the back of your
business cards, then why not place a couple of positive comments there
that quote your clients.
- Proposals: Proposals are really marketing documents, not just
a quote for a sale. You might add a page of testimonials, preferably
from the same industry or similar businesses. They get to decision
makers, even if you can't in person. It also reconfirms with your
prospects that they are making a good decision to go with you.
- Direct marketing materials: Add testimonials to all direct
marketing, such as postcards, sales letters, and audio tapes.
- Computer telephony: You can use recorded voices to present
your testimonials. It can be done via your message-on-hold, by voice
mail messages in the form of a referral call by an associate to your
prospect, or simply as an automated message line with several
customers' recorded comments.
- Articles: When you have the chance to write an article or
have one done for you, then you have to quote your clients. If a writer
or journalist calls you, you should suggest they call clients for
input (this must be predetermined with permission from the customer).
Testimonials are very powerful marketing tools. Prospects become your
customers more frequently when they hear compliments from your existing
clients. Don't you feel more comfortable when you know that others love
what you want to buy? Think about how you can apply this to your sales and
Martin Wales, the Customer Catcher, is a business development
specialist helping companies win and keep more business with a focus on
CRM. He is a technology-marketing specialist, speaker, and facilitator
focused on maximum results with minimum risk using a company's existing
resources. Contact him at email@example.com.