We don’t believe you, you need more people… (word to Jay- Z)
That’s what your prospects are secretly saying to themselves just about every time you attempt to sell something to them.
Wanna know why?
Because at the first sign of a “sales pitch,” your ideal customers will do Simone Biles type, mental acrobatics to find reasons NOT to buy from you.
It makes sense because as consumers, we’re inundated with thousands of marketing messages daily. Like over 5,000.
That means we’ve built up a collective tolerance which makes us supremely skeptical of marketing messages…in all their forms.
Cuz in order NOT to constantly swipe our credit cards and hand over our hard earned cash, we HAVE to create some mental barriers to keep our conspicuous consumerism in check.
Hey… I don’t make the rules.
It’s that resistance that requires you as the business leader to make the path to purchase easy peasy, lemon squeezy for your buyer.
As boss biz owner, you know the adage: “people do business with people they like, know and trust.”
And I don’t know about you, but trust is HUGE factor when I’m about to spend these coinz I’ve earned.
Same is true for your customer. They are no different.
We just sometimes fall in love with the awesomeness of our product or service we forget that others…well others just don’t believe in it as much.
So we gotta MAKE ‘em believe it in order for them to buy it.
One powerful way to do build those like, know, trust factors all at once is through customer testimonials.
You have ‘em. I have ‘em. And if you don’t you SHOULD have ‘em.
But lemme ask you something: are they really doing the job? Or are they just there…taking up space on your website and in your other marketing material.
If you’re not sure or if you KNOW you’ve got some space-wasting going on, then I’m going to share with you the perfect formula for crafting your customer testimonials so they can start doing some #werk on your behalf.
Before I get started though, let me give you the low-down on why these puppies are so important.
1. What others say about you matters more than what you say about yourself.
How many times have you at least skimmed through Amazon reviews before buying a product you’ve been eyeing?
Of course, the company selling it is going to pull out all the stops to convince you to buy his/her work. They’re going to say the right things because their biased toward themselves.
They’re the cat’s meow…in their own minds.
image courtesy of giphy.com
But other people who spend their money? They’re RUTHLESS. They’ll give you the good, the bad and the ugly about a product and much of the time won’t sugarcoat it.
Testimonials are more authentic than marketing messages created by the business peddling their goods and services.
We’re trained not to believe businesses, but we are more likely to believe Bob the dump truck driver who has tested out that Yeti tumbler while on the road to see whether it really will keep his Mountain Dew cold for 48 hours.
2. Testimonials provide social proof…that you know what you’re doing.
Customers singing your praises means that other people have entrusted you with their hard-earned money and GOT A POSITIVE RESULT FROM IT.
That’s huge, yo.
Someone has gotten a result from something you sold or offered. Guess what? Now you’re an expert in the minds of others who had that same problem you already solved.
And you know who people trust? EXPERTS. Cuz experts get results. Period.
3. Every purchase is a risk. Humans HATE risk.
…especially if they’ve never had experience with the brand they’re about to buy from.
The best way to put potential buyers at ease is to incorporate various trust indicators in their marketing.
My boyfriend buys NOTHING unless he reads a handful of customer reviews first.
Product specs are good, slick copywriting describing the service is great, but reviews and testimonials will push him over the edge every time.
That’s because he was able to read about the experience from someone who is like him…in their own words. That’s powerful.
So here’s how can you feature your customer testimonials in a way that pack a punch, make people believe in your product or service and make them salivate at the very thought of buying from you…
Follow up! DON’T leave your happy customers to their own devices.
So you’ve done the work. You’ve shipped the product. Customer must be happy because they didn’t write you a dissertation length email calling you everything but a child of God, right?!
But it’s your job to follow up with them…this is ESPECIALLY true if you’re a service provider. Once the project’s done, create a feedback loop so you can capture your customer’s sentiments and possibly feature what they say in your marketing.
DON’T just ask them: how did you feel about my services?
The follow up has to be strategic. If not, you’ll get a testimonial that’s as weak as water.
Because I guarantee you NO ONE takes these seriously:
“Courtney was amazing! So happy I worked with her. Can’t wait to do it again!”
That BS above doesn’t tell me ANYTHING about how amazing Courtney is.
But that’s what they’ll most likely say because they’ve gotten what they paid for (or more) and now they’re on to the next thing.
And 9 times out of 10, your happy customer won’t know exactly what to say to express their satisfaction with your biz.
That’s why you gotta prompt ‘em with a few key questions…
1. Ask: What was your biggest fear, concern or hesitation before hiring me (or buying my product)?
Why? Because you want each testimonial to tell a story. I’ve already told you about the power of stories in marketing.
So, In order to tell a story, you gotta have struggle in there.
It’s a perfect approach because as a business leader, your whole job is to take away struggles from your customers and clients.
Hearing what their hesitation, challenge, or fear was BEFORE finding you… in their own words…works wonders.
Cuz can’t nobody tell it like THEY can tell it.
2. Ask: Did it come true? And if not, what happened instead?
This question is pivotal because it creates a space for your happy customer to tell other prospective customers how YOU helped them get over their fear, hesitation or struggle.
…all without sound humble-braggy.
Essentially, you come out smelling like a rose.
3. Ask: What are the top 3 ways [insert product/service] has helped your company or organization?
Not only does this question allow your customer to provide you insight about what they love most about working with or buying from you…
It allows them to get very SPECIFIC about the results you’ve been able to help them achieve.
Testimonials with juicy bits are powerful things because other people who read, watch or listen to them get an understanding of the exact results someone else was able to get from working with our buying from you.
4. Ask: If you were to recommend me to your best friend or closest colleague what would you say?
This here? SUPER important because it does 2 things…
A). It provides you with a great excerpt to post in a tight space on your website or other marketing collateral while still packing a punch.
Cuz even though your testimonial should tell a story, sometimes you don’t have the space or time to give people alladat.
B). It helps your happy customer get candid for a bit. Because truthfully, the thought of writing a testimonial can be intimidating for them. This question gets them to loosen up and pretend they are talking to a friend about you…and that’s when all the good stuff oozes out.
So, those are the key questions you need to ask your happy customers after you’ve served them so that you can attract OTHER customers like them!
I promise you, once you start capturing testimonials this way, you can be confident in knowing that they are doing their job.
Plus, it sets the stage for others to believe you (and buy from you)…because you have more people.