You ever been to a website or visited a sales page or seen an endorsement on the cover a book and wonder, is that real? I know I have and I think a lot of you reading this have experienced that to. The problem with testimonials today is that businesses have gotten sloppy in their use of endorsements for their product or service.
We are all too content with the generic phrases such as; “This product/service was great, really informative!”
What does that really tell a customer about your product/service? You guessed it, nothing.
When we look at testimonials, we want to see authenticity. We want to feel like the person talking about a product/service is a human being. That sounds pretty straight forward right? What can we do as business owners to make our testimonials more authentic?
A technique that I recently learned about and have employed with success was from Sean D'Souza. Sean has a book called The Brain Audit that talks about how to create compelling messages as a writer and takes you through a specific process. In that book, Sean touched on testimonials and how to avoid making crappy testimonials. I am not going to get into his entire testimonial process. You can visit his site for more info on that. The testimonial process has one specific step that really brings the humanity back into your testimonial.
This specific step is actually the first step in the testimonial process. The step deals with asking your client right off the bat, what specific concerns or issues did they have with getting engaged in your product/service. In other words, were they worried about spending the money? Do they a really busy schedule and didn't feel they had time? Had they used similar services in the past with less than stellar results?
As business owners, we focus a lot on the potential outcomes from using our product/service but not enough on the psychology behind why they would or would not buy.
We decided to employ this specific step into our own testimonial process for an event that we do. People fly in from all over the country to participate so we knew there were sacrifices involved, we were just ignorant as to what those sacrifices were specifically. In that event, we learned that some of our clients are worried about leaving their kids. One of our clients is currently taking care of their elderly parents and really had a hard time breaking free from that for a couple of day. Another client was worried about a trip that was taking them out of the country and some deadlines coming up in their business.
On the surface we have some really authentic testimonials for our workshop which is cool. The real benefits, however, go much deeper than that. We connected with our clients through that process on a much deeper level. We see them with different eyes, that are more compassionate and more understanding. That's really cool.
If you have a testimonial process, ask yourself one question. Does it bring out the human side of your product/service? Do your testimonials feel like they were written by human beings? If not, how can you change that? If you aren't getting testimonials, implement a system to start getting them. Your business and, more importantly, your clients will be better for it.