May 28, 2006
Expert Advice: Testimonials...Just Say No!
Merely collecting testimonials is lazy and only mildly effective.
Here's why I say so…
Customers who offer testimonials do so with good intention. Very often they get too busy. They are stuck about what to say. They don't know how to start. As a result, it gets put on the back burner.
This happens way too often and represents tremendous loss of opportunity. You should ask for the testimonial after a brief conversation or, better yet, after a short interview.
Once the interview is done, simply ask for their testimonial. They'll agree, no
problem. Right then, suggest that you'll type something up and send it over for their approval. Let them know that you'd like to make it easy on them. They love it. Simplifies things for them and you get an almost instant response.
A great piece of salesmanship secured for your direct response television
campaign! Much different than chasing it down, for days or weeks, to get it completed.
Testimonials are a lot more than social proof. Writing it yourself also means that you can zero in on what it is you want to use from the interview. You don't merely want a testimonial; you want one that specifically supports your campaign. More than that, you want one that adds dimension to the campaign.
Let me explain…
In reviewing the content collected from the interview we should be looking for the best angle for each testimonial. That's one of the reasons why I'm adamant about interviewing customers. We're on a search-and-find mission. We don't merely want a same-old-same-old testimonial.
We want it to be rich!
We want material to work from.
We want it to have dimension.
Here's what I mean…
A standard testimonial would show a great before and after result.
Unfortunately, these have become standard. They are expected and not readily believed by the prospect. The viewer quickly gets bored. Attention span being short, we must do better.
That's why we should also try to find testimonials that…
- Trigger the pain of the problem needing to be solved.
- Reveal a powerful real-life tidbit or event.
- Create curiosity.
- Are provocative.
The following two types of testimonials are particularly prized. They are not so obvious and therefore more attention grabbing to the reader.
- Overcome a hidden objection.
- Satisfy a hidden benefit.
This is the power of interviewing. You get more material offering different opportunities and angles from which to position the testimonial. You can use something other than the, expected and often lame, "Before And After" version.
When it comes to testimonials, do more!
Go on a search and find mission. Learn to generate the right material. Learn how to position that material. Add dimension to your sales message.
Say No to "collecting" testimonials!