Several years ago while writing a sales brochure for a West Coast manufacturer I attempted to dig up some testimonials that I could include in the copy. The company had a good website and PowerPoint presentation, so I was hopeful that I’d find some ready-made testimonials–or at least some material I could use to create some.
As it turned out, they had one case study with a couple of customer quotes. I pieced together the material to write one measly testimonial. It was less than adequate.
Did it matter? After all, I wrote strong copy. Why even bother with testimonials? I’ll give you five good reasons.
1. Enhance credibility.
Testimonials give your company, product, or service credibility. Everyone is bombarded with advertising messages every day. If you want to sell something, you stand a much better chance if you can convince prospects that you’re credible. Testimonials are like references on a resume. They’re the people who vouch for you.
2. Horn blowing.
Horn blowing can be unseemly–unless others do it for you. Then it can lead to sales. As Will Rogers said, “Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.”
3. Identification factor.
Your prospects identify with your customers who are providing the testimonials. They have similar concerns, problems, hopes and desires. You want this in your marketing. (Sorry, but your prospects don’t identify with you. You’re trying to sell them something!)
4. Deliver proof.
Proof is reason enough to gather and use testimonials. This is where your customers say, in effect, “They’re right, Mr. or Ms. Prospect. They can save you 50% … or make you feel 18 again … or earn you enough money to retire at 50. They did it for me and I’m thrilled!” Testimonials notarize your marketing speak.
5. The close.
Testimonials help close the sale. Sure, they can be used throughout a marketing piece. But they definitely come in handy toward the end. You’ve introduced the problem or need, your product or service, the features and benefits, and more. Then you line up your testimonials, all the customers whose heads are nodding and saying, “Yep, it worked for me.” Soon after you ask for the order.
For many reasons, testimonials give your prospects the confidence to buy from you for the first time. And once your prospects turn into new customers, the door to repeat sales swings wide open.