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How to Deploy Your Most Powerful Marketing Weapon: The Testimonial

 

 

By Karl Robinson

   

You see testimonials in advertising and other marketing materials all the time.  Why? Because they work.  Testimonials are a powerful influencer psychologically because they assuage any fears about being the only person to do something.  They are reassuring.  They are comforting.  For a perfect example, look at how powerful the user reviews are on Amazon. 

 

For another example, notice how many TV commercials these days are nothing but a 30 or 60 second testimonial.  The happy customer or client spends the entire commercial telling the story of their experience.  

 

Acquiring testimonials and using them to great effect requires some effort on your part (just like anything else worthwhile).  As with referrals, loyal customers will be happy to provide glowing testimonials.  People love to have their opinions valued!  But you must show them how and make it easy for them.

Let’s look at how you can start gathering and deploying testimonials immediately:

 

  • Ask for a testimonial at the most appropriate time. And provide the stationary to do so.  If sales are done remotely, do this with an email they can easily respond to.

 

  • Gently ask them to be as detailed as possible, or to focus on one particular aspect of the transaction/product/service that they especially appreciated.  “They did a great job!” is of little use. (A little trick to encourage this: Tell them to “make it as long as you like.”)

  • Train your employees on your testimonial expectations and provide the tools they need to get them.  Have them be attuned to unsolicited positive feedback so they can say, “Well we appreciate that.  Would you mind putting your kind words in writing so we can convince others of the same?”

  • It is a good idea to periodically survey customers to ensure they are receiving the kind of service you intend.  Whenever you have a very happy customer on the line, solicit the testimonial and give them your email address, or better yet, send them an SASE right away. 

  • Plaster testimonials everywhere!  Brochures, sales letters, advertisements, web pages… anywhere there’s room.

  • Assemble and organize customer testimonials and pictures into a little booklet 20-50 pages long.  Title it “What our customers say about us” or something similar.  Update it once a year to keep it fresh.  This is a very powerful sales tool.  Hand it out liberally with your other sales and marketing materials.

  • With today’s smartphones, practically everybody has a high-def video camera in their pocket.  Use them to create video testimonials for your website and promotional videos.

  • Use the banner headline space on your website for single testimonials that change every few seconds.

 

Bonus Tip:  There is yet another very good reason to get customers to write out testimonials.  Doing so creates a powerful psychological reaction to “own” what they’ve written.  Due to what’s called the Consistency Factor, they will live up to their own words by telling others the same and believing them even more deeply themselves.  You can actually create loyal ambassadors by asking them for testimonials!