Savvy Speaks: Can I Get a Witness?

Savvy Speaks: Can I Get a Witness?
Savvy Sisters - Wed Sep 28, 2011 @ 07:00AM
Comments: 9

In these days of Web 2.0, no one wants to purchase anything without a review of some sort from the online masses. But before you start tacking voting buttons all over your website, consider revisiting a tried and true marketing tactic - the testimonial. This week the Savvy Sisters weigh in on the do's and dont's of using testimonials to sell.


Be specific

Testimonials are great, but stay away from generic testimonials like "Company A's product is awesome!" Ask customers to get specific. Did the solution increase ROI? Great - by how much? Was the team easy to work with? In what ways? The more specific your testimonials, the more real and relatable they become, and that makes them much more effective than generic platitudes.


Free Form

When I do case study work for clients I like to have some prepared questions but also let the customer provide free form answers also.  I find the best most persuasive quotes often come out of this.  The prepared questions get them thinking about "why" they purchased but the emotion behind the why is is typically the most powerful.  In B2B most companies will on the surface tell you that they purchase the solution with the strongest ROI but trust, ethics and integrity while they might not appear on the RFP spreadsheet are factored in as well!


Capture video
Video is a geat way to get testimonials as you can see real people telling the story in their own words. While video is more difficult to produce becasue of logistics, think about ways you can capture multiple videos at one time. 
For instance, I recently participated in Content Marketing World, and we took a lot of video of both speakers and participants. One of the questions the videographer consistently asked was why people liked the event. Now we have a lot of casual and real-world footage that we can use to promote next year's event. 
If you plan ahead, getting video may be easier than you think!


Focus on Prospects' Needs

It can be tempting to use a testimonial as your opportunity to get your "message" across. But the most believable and powerful testimonials let the customer take the spotlight. Let your customers speak in their own voice about the range of value you provide.

To get the most from testimonials, make them readily available to prospective customers. Take printed versions to in-person events, and sprinkle them throughout your site so your prospects don't have to work to find them. Along those lines, think about how prospective buyers would be looking for testimonials -- allow them to search by business problem, industry, solution, region, story type, etc.


Get personal

For a testimonial to carry weight, it needs to be perceived as the authentic word of a real person. DON'T use anonymous or generic (i.e., "A small business owner") testimonials. They are next to worthless and can actually make you look bad if prospects start to doubt the authorship. 

DO make your testimonials even more rock solid by giving them a personal touch. Consider posting your client's headshot along with their quote. Being able to put a face to the words makes each review that much more "real" to the reader. In addition to the headshot and full name, include links that make it easy for a prospect to check out the client's site or even contact them via email or Twitter for additional feedback.

Adding these personal details will make your testimonials more believable and get your prospects more interested in your offer. 


How do you use testimonials to attract clients?

Or do you?

Comments: 9


1. Doug Kessler  |  my website   |   Wed Sep 28, 2011 @ 08:49AM

Good stuff.
Testimonial quotes are important 'grout' in the brick wall of credibility.

But too many of them are long, turgid, corporate-speak that convinces nobody.

2. Stephanie Tilton  |  my website   |   Wed Sep 28, 2011 @ 07:02PM

That's what I love about you, Doug -- I can count on you to come up with a memorable analogy! ; )

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