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How To Increase Your Contacts To Orders Ratio:
Get Testimonials!

One of the most valuable marketing tools for a business is the use of testimonials received from satisfied customers. Yet, very few businesses ever use testimonials in their sales efforts.  Testimonials are simply statements made by satisfied customers about the benefits they have enjoyed because they have bought your product or your service or had their relationship with you.  Another term for testimonials are "endorsement".  Testimonials are valuable proof to prospective customers that your product or service actually delivers the benefit you claim it will. some ways, testimonials are like referrals.

Benefits of using testimonials

How to get good testimonials

How to use testimonials effectively

Benefits of using testimonials

Nothing gets the person's attention like raves from a fellow target audience member.

Testimonials are by far the most effective form of advertising. People are often skeptical about ad claims, but they almost always believe another customer.

Have you ever purchased something that your friend recommended? Didn't this make you feel secure and safe since you knew that your friend was happy with the product or service? The best kind of advertisement is word of mouth. Even though it doesn't travel fast, it can do some magnificent results. When one of your past customers tells other people how great your service is, it makes people feel secure, and safe. It gives them a reason why to buy your service or product. Give your current customers a chance to brag about you, use their testimonies.

A customer coming to you by referral from one of their friends or acquaintances is already pre-committed to do business with you. You don't have to convince them that your product or service will provide the benefit they seek.  Your ability to deliver is already "guaranteed" by the person giving the referral.

Testimonials from satisfied customers provide that same assurance to a potential customer coming to you without a referral. In tests conducted by others, they reported that using the same messages with and without testimonials, those with testimonials increased sales, often by as much as 65% or more.

Testimonials are FREE! You could offer to pay for the right to quote their comments, but that will offend some people, as they feel that they are being "bought".  You provide a self esteem builder to the testimonial giver as everyone likes to feel that their opinion is being so valued that you are going to print it. So don't offend them.  Simply send the release form with a pre-stamped return envelope and ask them to sign and return the form. Your request will be rarely denied.

Put your customers' comments on your web page and other promotional materials to increase your ratio of contacts to orders.

How to get good testimonials

Satisfied customers will occasionally call or write to you and express their appreciation without any prompting from you. If you've been in business for some time you probably already have a file of these. However, if you're new in business you may have few or none of these "spontaneous testimonials". How can you get some... and get them fast?

If your business is brand new, get testimonials from friends, experts, or anyone who will give you a "hey, this looks good to me" type of comment.

A short time after completing a transaction, send your customer or client a personal postcard asking what they liked best about your product or service. You'll be amazed at some of the glowing comments you'll get. Use the "Unexpected Thank You Technique".  You will be surprised how many favorable letters those elicit as well.  This is a simple technique any business can use effectively.

When a customer says something nice about your product or service that you want to use in your advertising, ask if you can use their comment. They will almost always say yes. Some customers are happy to let you write their comments for them. Just ask.

Ask the customer to sign a release giving you permission to quote those comments in your promotional material.  The release form should include the full text of the customer's comments. Request permission to use the comments "in complete or edited form" so you can shorten the text when it's too long. Also request permission to use the customer's name, city and state so it appears as "Ann Smith, Austin, TX" instead of "A.S., TX". The customer's privacy is protected by omitting the street address.

How to use testimonials effectively

Select testimonials stating a specific benefit gained by using your product or service. A testimonial saying, "I bought your widget and am very happy with it" won't motivate anybody else to buy your widget. Instead, use testimonials like this actual testimonial I received from one of my customers: "Hi Bob. I purchased your manual and used one of the ideas to do a mailing which received about a 10% response rate." That's a powerful testimonial. It states specifically what the customer gained by ordering the manual.

Using testimonials in any advertisement you have.  Put testimonials all over your web site. Use a testimonial in your ad or sales letter (in fact, it's not a bad idea to headline your ad with a testimonial). Include 3 testimonials in each online and print sales letter . Each one need be only 2 or 3 lines plus the customer's name, city and state.

Collect all the testimonies that you have received from your past customers. You could make a whole web page on your site and place the testimonies on that page. 

If the endorser allows, include the endorser's e-mail address, so a potential client can e-mail them and verify the testimony. This also gives them the opportunity to speak with your past customers and find out all the great things that they have experienced with your service or product. They could then turn around and tell their friends what they heard. This could tumble like a domino affect, causing you to have an explosion of sales.

If you have a newsletter that you publish, put an ad in the newsletter that contains the testimony and some information about your service or product. This will give the potential client a real good reason to visit your site. They already have proof about how good your service or product is.

Try using your testimonies to anticipate and answer your potential customers' questions or potential objections. This will answer their questions, and will show them how good your service or product is. This is like killing two birds with one stone.

You can also try putting some testimonies in your follow ups that will give them a reason to act now.

Conclusion

If you're not using testimonials in your promotional material, start using them today. Look in your customer files for comments you can use. Send postcards to some recent customers asking what they liked most about your product or service. Get permission to quote their comments and include them in your sales material. You'll discover FREE testimonials have the amazing power to increase your sales and profits without increasing your costs.