When used correctly, testimonials can boost your response dramatically. They help build the prospect's perception of believability, stability, honesty, and value in your product or service. When prospects see all those testimonials, especially from people to whom they can relate, they gain confdence in you. They become less worrried about making an error in buying what you sell.
Before you can effectively use testimonials, you first have to understand the three different types.
The first, is the unsolicited type. This is the type of testimonial you receive without asking. It is important with this type of testimonial that you immediately get permission from the customer who sent it, to use it in upcoming promotions. You should develop a standardized system for following up on the receipt of customer comments. First, you should thank them, and then ask for permission to use their positive comments with their name and address in your future marketing.
As second type of testimonial is the solicited type. This is the type you receive by asking through a personal conversation or by letter. When you ask your customer for a testimonial, be tactful. Don't say, "Please send me a testimonial." Instead, ask for comments, both pro and con. Many times negative comments can be as helpful and revealing as the positive ones.
When you are soliciting testimonials it is important to make sure they are specific and targeted. The more specific the testimonial is, the stronger it is. Most testimonials are very general, saying for example, "It's great" or "It's wonderful." While these comments may make you feel good, they are not as powerful as specific, targeted testimonials. Ask your customer to write about the specific result he or she received from using your product or service. You want the testimonial to back up and support the benefit that you claim your product or service delivers.
A third type of testimonial is when your customer asks you to write it and they sign it. This will happen more often than you think when you are soliciting testimonials.
You can use testimonials in a variety of effective and inexpensive ways. One way is to make copies of your testimonials and make them part of a direct mail package. Another way is to have them on your Web site. You can use a testimonial, or part of it, in an ad. You can post testimonial letters within your place of business. And yet another and quit common way, is to publish several testimonials as part of your customer brochure.
Instead of filing all your testimonial letters you receive in one category titled "Testimonials," file them by potential use. Some possible categories could be, "Benefit" (what customers liked most about your product or service); "Name value" (testimonials from a recognizable person or company); "Customer type" (male/female, job titles, etc.); "Product type" (what they bought and liked); "Geographical location." Each testimonial category should have a code and a number.
The best customers to approach for testimonials are your repeat buyers, because you know they are satisfied with your prouct or service. Spend time refining your request so it sounds right. Remember, you are asking for help, not demanding it. Ask your customers to write their testimonials on their company letterhead because it will add credibilty and be more effective.
The more testimonials you have, the better. It doesn't matter how old the testimonials are. Just realize that testimonials are more believable than ads and less expensive.
All contents Copyright(c) 2004 Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and acheive total success. A former ad agency executive and marketing consultant, Joe's work in personal development focuses on helping his clients identify hidden marketable assets that create windfall opportunities and profits, as well as sound personal happiness and peace.
For Joe, success in life is the comprehensive product of greater wealth and income, better personal relationships, and productive attitudes and environments. He started his personal development services because he sensed a strong need for caring, personalized, and flexible mentoring to individuals from all backgrounds and professions.
Reach Joe at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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