Ok, that was a bit of a trick question. The most important thing that helps you market your business is what other people say about you.
With the advent of sites like Yelp and the wealth of ratings and reviews on Amazon and TripAdvisor, people have come to rely on recommendations from others more than ever. I know that if I’m shopping in a store and trying to decide whether to buy an appliance or a toy, I feel a bit lost unless I can look up what other people have said about it.
Testimonials mean a lot to potential customers. They lend credibility to your product or service. Here are four ways to generate testimonials:
1. Ask satisfied customers for a testimonial.
When you finish a job or make a sale, you can either send an email or ask at that moment for a testimonial. Don’t assume that giving a testimonial is at the top of peoples’ minds. Even satisfied customers don’t often think of doing this.
2. If a customer is genuinely excited and has just told you so, ask if you may quote her.
Capture the moment, and feed it back to her to be sure you got it right. That way, you don’t have to ask the customer to do any work down the road.
3. If a customer seemed genuinely willing to provide a testimonial, don’t hesitate to offer a gentle reminder in a couple of weeks.
While they are doing you a favor, you’re also going to give them some exposure – as smart customers and friends of the firm. Everyone likes to be recognized.
4. Survey your customers and ask.
To generate additional testimonials, send a survey to past customers asking about your service or product and ask an open ended question at the end with a prompt that says something like this: “If there is any way we can improve our service or anything particular you appreciated about your experience with us, we would very much like to hear about it.” Any response worth quoting can become a testimonial, with permission.
Getting testimonials on your website will help visitors to your site move closer to being able to make a decision to buying from you, and customers who trust your testimonials will be more likely to buy. Fill a sidebar or page of your site with testimonials in all forms. You can use screen shots from Twitter, videos, and quotes for highly impactful social proof that gives people the confidence to trust your business and buy from you far more than anything that you can say about yourself.
Are you currently using testimonials on your website? Please share your page(s) with us, we’d love to see.
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