But I care about what your customers think about you and your service.

And that’s why testimonials are such a powerful tool to help new buyers/ signups/ customers get across the line & take the action that you want them to take.

In a busy world, testimonials from clients tend to get overlooked by marketers (especially since most websites are ‘all about us’ ┬ánot about the customer!) and yet they are one of the most powerful sales tools, when used well.

Holly Buchanan at Future Now had a great article this week on how best to use client testimonials, here’s her checklist:

Be specific. Use testimonials that talk about specific benefits or personal situations. Avoid vague testimonials.

Overcome objections. Use testimonials that bring up objections, where customers admit being skeptical. These are the most powerful testimonials out there.

Context is everything. Make sure your testimonials address the questions your customers are asking at various stages of the buying process. (If your customer data’s unclear, just ask your sales/business development people. They can recite common questions in unison.)

And check out the comment by a favourite of ours, Sean D’Souza, who reminds us that we have to do two things: ask for the testimonial & create an environment where getting a good one is actually likely to happen. (Thanks to Tony for recommending psychotactics all those years ago!)

So what can you do today? Do you have some quotes on your site, but lumped together into one long page “hear what our customers think”? Or you only have three on the entire site & it looks like you only have 3 happy clients?

If you use testimonials badly they help nobody. Use them well & your conversion rate will climb.

So, today: start to gather a dozen or so (ask for them!) and then put then on the most relevant page for that particular quote. Put quotes from builders on your builders page, from adventure travelers on that page & from ‘clients that thought you were too expensive but loved you once they saw the results’ next to your price on the sign up page.

Now take a look at your after sales system (you have one right?) and build into it ‘Ask for a testimonial’. If you don’t ask you don’t get. People are afraid to ask – don’t be. Even if the comment is less than stellar, you’ll learn more about your business and what needs to be fixed. and don’t be afraid to use the odd bad testimonial too – nothing is more real than the occasional customer that wasn’t 110% satisfied.

Don’t agree? I’d love to hear your comments…