Testimonials are not about bragging or tooting your own horn. Sharing your successes with your client base and associates is an essential part of growing your business and your reputation within the community. And a great way to do this is by utilizing testimonials in your marketing efforts. Not only do testimonials get attention, they can also create a sense of confidence in the idea of doing business with you.
The following are a few simple steps for gathering positive feedback from your clients:
- When clients thank you for completing a phenomenal deal, ask them to write a testimonial for you about their experience.
- If they're too busy to write it themselves, write it for them. Then have them simply approve and sign it.
- Make sure you secure their permission to use the testimonial in your marketing efforts.
- Create a file with as wide a variety of testimonials to draw from as possible.
Now it's time to leverage what you've gathered. Dr. Robert Cialdini, best-selling author and nationally-recognized researcher, has analyzed data on this topic and has discovered that the biggest and best testimonials are not always the most persuasive when it comes to increasing business.
Instead, Cialdini suggests that finding the right testimonial, one that your clients can strongly relate to, is much more effective in creating confidence. Cialdini believes that by obtaining testimonials from an array of clients, you'll create a diverse collection of simple, yet effective marketing messages that will hit the specific bull's-eye for each and every potential client.
For example, let's say you were to use a testimonial as part of a direct-mail flyer to first-time home buyers and, in your testimonial, your satisfied clients wrote about how you helped them build the retirement home of their dreams. Although your clients may have raved about your ability in that transaction, the message doesn't fit the specific needs and desires of a first-time borrower. Instead, select from your library of testimonials something that addresses the well-known fears of the home-buying process and how you were able to solve them. Something more like this:
"I was nervous about buying my first home, unsure if I could make the leap from renting to owning. But, thanks to John Real Estate Agent, I'm finally living the American Dream."