The Marketing Power of Testimonials
By Wendy Maynard

Offer proof to your prospects.

Testimonials are one of the most
powerful and cost effective selling
tools you can implement in your
arsenal of marketing. Why? Because
you are offering social proof to your
prospects from their peers attesting
that your services/products actually work. If you say you are good at what you do,
it's self serving. But, if others say you are's credible.

Providing testimonials from current and prior customers of their actual problem and
the specific results from your company enhances your company's credibility. It's not
enough to say that you solve problems -- you have to show your prospects the direct
results of other people. Testimonials offer proof that you are the real deal.

People receive a lot of information and they are often skeptical. But, they will be more
inclined to buy from you if you show examples of their peers who have achieved
positive results. An effective testimonial is filled with specific benefits and
substantiates the claims you are making. Whenever possible, testimonials should offer
tangible, quantified results. (ex: I lost 65 pounds, I raised my income by 42%, I saved
$300, and so on.) To show it comes from a real person, a good testimonial includes a
first and last name, a city and state, a business name, their industry, and a website

Be sure to ask people for a photograph. You can add their picture next to their
testimonial in your office or a in brochure. It's a great strategy for your website's
testimonial section. And, you can take your website to a higher level of interactivity
by including audio and video for an even greater impact. If you want to include audio
testimonials on your site, I recommend Audio Acrobat for an easy-to-use recording

If you are offering a new product or just starting your business, you can contact
business associates and offer them a free session or product sample to try. In
exchange, ask them for a heartfelt testimonial. Most of the people you contact will be
delighted to do a trial run of your offering and provide a testimonial.

On your website, your brochure, and in your presentations, provide testimonials from
current and prior customers of their actual problem and the specific results from your
company. These third-party endorsements work to sell for you - even when you are
not around. Your testimonials also help close the sale with prospects. Depending on
your type of business, you can even cover your walls with pictures of happy
customers. Or you can create a notebook that shows pictures of customers with your

Even after you've been in business for a while, don't stop collecting testimonials. You
can use an autoresponder service like Professional Cart Services to automatically
follow up with a customer who has purchased something from you to ask them how
they are doing. Ask them to provide a testimonial. Incorporating a testimonial into an
advertising campaign and/or direct mail marketing is also very effective.

You'll find that incorporating the power of social proof into your marketing arsenal
will help spread word-of-mouth advertising. It will also help you easily close sales.
Often, a person will review your testimonials and be prepared to buy before you've
even met. The reward of collecting testimonials is always worth the effort!

About the author: Wendy Maynard, your friendly Marketing Maven, publishes
REMARKABLE MARKETING, a weekly marketing ezine for business owners, freelancers, and
entrepreneurs. If you're ready to skyrocket your sales, easily attract customers, and have more
fun, subscribe at
Go Marketing Maven.

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