It All begins with Change
We all live in a world where change is constant and dramatic. At times it can be overwhelming.
This is very apparent in the marketing and online digital environment.
However, there is one business tool that hasn’t really moved with the times — the testimonial.
Sean Dezousa from 5000bc.com describes it like this. "If I put 6 spoons of sugar in a coffee and asked you to drink it would you? Probably not because it would be sickly sweet."
But isn't that what most testimonials are like? So can we get testimonials that aren't sickly sweet?
But lets start with the power and value of even sickly sweet traditional testimonials.
Consumers are more savvy than ever these days, so simply claiming you are “the best” is not enough. With testimonials, though, you don’t need to work to convince your audience you are awesome – because other people can do it for you.
Testimonials offer an independent indication that you have done a great job. They can also help reassure new or nervous customers, as well as distinguish you from your competitors. Using reviews and comments from your satisfied customers can transform your sales pitch into a credible, unbiased recommendation for your product or service.
via: Why WordPress Testimonials Can Generate More Selling Power Than the Best Sales Copy
Customer Testimonials: Your Business’s (Not-So) Secret Weapon
When Billy Joel sang that, “It’s a matter of trust,” he wasn’t talking about marketing. Nevertheless, marketers can definitely learn a thing or two from The Piano Man, especially when it comes to the importance of building relationships with prospective customers.
Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful trust signals you can use on your website and in your marketing campaigns, including landing pages, product and pricing pages, and even your AdWords ads. Persuasive testimonials from satisfied customers can sway even the most hesitant prospect, making them a potent weapon in your marketing arsenal.
via: A Guide to Customer Testimonials: Your Business’s (Not-So) Secret Weapon
Getting testimonials that inspire trust
Traditional Testimonials are like resumés and have you ever read a resume that highlighted weaknesses and past mistakes?
I doubt it because we all know that resumes are written to impress the reader. Most testimonials are the same — sickly sweet and no spice.
But, testimonials, even sugary ones, are important for business. So how can we get a more mature testimonial? How can we give them new life?
Testimonials that work
These six simple questions show you how to get testimonials that work.
Introducing a Testimonial with a difference — the Lighthouse Testimonial
So what is a Lighthouse testimonial?
You know that every buyer experiences doubt prior to purchasing a product or service. There's always an objection lurking like the Grim Reaper in the buyer's mind.
People are skeptical. It's a fact of life.
The purpose of a lighthouse is to be visible; To shine; To stand out. And that’s what a Lighthouse Testimonial does. It stands head and shoulders above every other testimonial out there.
How do we do that?
They shine because they are not all sugar and no spice. We actually include objections your customers face when they are making the decision to buy your product or service. And then the Lighthouse Testimonial will diffuse common objections to your product or service.
6 simple questions to powerful testimonials
Get in front of your client or at talk with them on the phone and ask them these six simple questions: (Make sure you get their permission and record the conversation.)
- What would have prevented you from hiring my product/service?
- What did you find as a result of buying this product/service?
- What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
- What would be three other benefits about this product/service?
- Would you recommend this product/service? If so why?
- Is there anything you'd like to add?
How to obtain your Lighthouse Testimonial
If you simply ask for a testimonial, your customers will always promise to send it to you but they hardly ever land in your inbox. And even if they do send one it's bound to be the same as all the others.
So the best way to obtain a Lighthouse Testimonial from your clients is to meet with them or give them a call. Face-to-face meetings are best because you are able to ask questions prompting them to expand on their statements. What you end up with is a testimonial story.
The next option best option is a phone call. Make sure you ask your clients permission and record the call.
Why they work so well
Lighthouse testimonials are strong because they identify a problem; When the problem is named the buyer identifies with it and then your previous client diffuses the objection for you with their testimonial. That’s why they work so well.
They're believable because they are not all sugary. Traditional testimonials are sickly sweet and they’re like drinking a cup of coffee that has 10 spoons of sugar in it.
Lighthouse testimonials are a new, refreshing and innovative approach to a proven and vital business tool.
When you ask the simple 6 questions you get a story from your clients that packs a punch; A punch that will help your business to soar.
Here are a few example of testimonials that are on a sugar free diet
Example 1. Heatley Industrial & Safety
"The main hesitation we had was the fact that you didn't seem to have a finished product to show as an example that was similar to ours.(Objection.)
However, we found that you are very professional and easy to work with.” (Objection defused.)
The best feature of the video is the personal touch of the video. It wasn't too corporatised. (The feature)
The client then described the benefits of having a video.
The video has assisted us to give our customers and new employees a better understanding of our business and has improved our corporate image.
Our opposition have been around for so long and are so well marketed that many customers didn't know a half of what we did.
Once we go the corporate video it was different. The biggest hurdle was just them knowing if we could handle their business or not. Whether we could be competitive and handle their business.
The video does that for us. It's great.
Additional benefits have included supplier presentations and the ability to post the video on the internet.
I would strongly recommend your service to others. You provided Quality, Value, and Professional service.
I would also like to thank you for your patience with the amount of changes and updates we did."
David Grigg - Sales & Marketing Manager Heatley Industrial & Safety
Example 2 Jarrod Hodge - Manager - Heatley Industrial & Safety
Knowing the extent of your experience I was confident about your ability to give us the video we needed. The confidence proved to be well founded and the video has worked very well for us.
I have used the video in formal presentations to some of my larger contracts and instead of having to verbally explain our company, where we come from and what we do to the customer, it's easier to plug the flash drive in and show them through the video what our company does.
It's cut down a good 20 to 30 minutes of the presentation time. These formal appointments we have are an hour at the most. Any longer and we're wasting their time. So the more time we've got to talk about the benefits of our business more than what our business is about the better.
These large corporate organisations appreciate the speedy presentation so we can get down to business faster. The video enables them to absorb a lot more of our specialty information rather than just the general information.
Having the video enable us to make a more professional presentation. Our other senior managers have all found the same. The video saves a good 15 to 20 minutes each presentation.
I helps us with the bottom line - we get more sales because we can spend more time pointing out the benefits of working with our company.
It allows us to sell our point of difference to the customer. The time we save with the video gives us more time to talk about the benefits of Heatleys and our point of difference.
The video with visuals, voice over and music enables them to absorb more information than listening to me speak for 30 minutes selling my company. It's done in just a few minutes.
We want them to communicate what they expect from us. And this is where the extra time is a real bonus.
We have more time to listen. We get a very good idea of what issues they face which leads nicely into what we can do for them. How we can help them.
The larger corporations appreciate the concise professional presentation.
Jarrod Hodge Manager Heatley Industrial & Safety
Example 3 - The Shire of east Pilbara
Question: What would have prevented you from hiring my product/service?
Answer: Because your quote was so much lower than the others we didn't think you could do the job properly I guess.
However, when we saw the examples of what you had previously done, they indicated that you could produce the sort of video we were after. It gave us an appreciation of what you could do.
Question: What did you find as a result of buying my product/service?
Answer: The video gives a quick overview of the Shire. It shows new employees and businesses thinking of coming to Newman a look a Newman and what the area has to offer.
Question: What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
Answer: The visuals and the sound. The combination of the vision and the sound is a good package.
Question: What would be three other benefits about this product/service?
I forgot to ask this question. So keep list of questions handy to remind yourself.
Question: Would you recommend my product/service? If so why?
Answer: I certainly would. I think you did a pretty good job for the time we had, the budget we had and we're very happy with the result. You delivered on what was asked.
Question: Is there anything you'd like to add?
Answer: You were very easy to work with. You were efficient and got the job done - we're very happy.
Gaby Pieraccini Manager Sustainability Shire of east Pilbara
We have since updated the video and for a further testimonial please contact Allen Cooper CEO Shire of East Pilbara.
Turn a good small business tool into a great business winning tool.