Why We Are All Sceptical About Testimonials
- Testimonials are like resumes; they’re not entirely believable. Which is why most customers tend to view testimonials sceptically. Even if we don’t say it out loud, we view testimonials as one-sided.
- It’s the seeming lack of reality in a testimonial that makes us doubt its genuineness. So the way to pump back the reality is to give a testimonial a before/after effect. And voilà, we get the ‘reverse testimonial’.
- The ‘reverse testimonial’ is nothing but a testimonial that brings to the fore how the customer was feeling before they made the purchase. The doubts; the slight discomfort; the pain; the frustration. These all run through a customer’s mind right before they buy a product/service. These doubts need to be brought up front, because they bring a massive dose of reality to the testimonial.
- To get this factor of reality, we need to ‘construct’ our testimonials, instead of just ‘getting’ testimonials. Construction doesn’t mean you’re faking a testimonial. Construction means you’re using parameters to build a structurally sound testimonial.
The 6 Questions You Need To Ask To Get A Powerful Testimonial
- What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this service?
- What did you find as a result of buying this service?
- What specific part did you like most about this service?
- What would be three other benefits about this service?
- Would you recommend our service? If so, why?
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
Why Are Testimonials So Important? Because They Remove Objections
It’s not just a matter of asking the questions to construct a testimonial. Testimonials play an important role in removing objections. Therefore the objections must be listed. And it’s important to then get testimonials that defuse the core 98% of objections that stop your customer from buying your product/service.
This of course, doesn’t mean that you don’t accept a testimonial that’s given by a customer. Hey, a testimonial is a gift. And sometimes you get the most incredibly powerful testimonials from customers. Sure they may not have the awesome structure you’re hoping for, but these testimonials still work. So don’t go about being uppity and rejecting testimonials that don’t fit the structure of the ‘reverse testimonial’.
Testimonials tell stories. Stories rich in colour and detail. Stories that you could not have dreamed up in a squillion years. And yet, these stories are totally believable, because they come from the customer. And more importantly, because they have a solid dose of reality at their very core.
3 More Things You Need To Know About Testimonials
In addition to this I have found the following to work very well:
- Full name and the city they are from
- A small head and shoulders photo (no glamour shots, no model shots, just real NZ people). A good size is 75px x 75px
- A huge list. The longer the better. Eg I have over 100 on http://www.management.org.nz/
student-testimonials/. When the list of happy customers is that long what else do you need to know before you’ll buy?
Every client I’ve ever worked with knows that they need testimonials on their website, but many of them haven’t gotten round to it yet.
The most common reason is that it seems like it’s a big job (that and maybe they’re a little shy).
They picture asking their customers for an A4 letter printed on letterhead. No, no, no.
3 Different Ways To Ask For A Testimonial
You have 3 options:
- Ask customers via a short email like this:
- “Hi first_name, I have a favour to ask. If you found my product/service useful, could you write a short testimonial for my website? Just a few sentences would be fine. I’ll put it here: link_to_your_testimonials_page. Include your full name and city and your website address so I can link back to your website. Thanks first_name, I’d really appreciate it.”
- Create a feedback form and send it out via email to customers they day after they have visited you which says “May we have a testimonial from you that we could display on our website and other marketing material? If you get stuck, you could use these 6 questions to help you write it…” and copy in the 6 questions above
- Call them up and ask them questions like the 6 above and scribble down notes. At the end of the 5 minute conversation tell them “I’ve been writing notes while we’ve been talking, can I turn them into a short testimonial and email it for you to check and approve before I put it on my website?”
What do you have to do to get 3 new testimonials on to your website in the next 24 hours?
Well, stop reading and go and do it!