Explode Your Sales by Building Trust with Testimonials

As I’ve pounded into your head, building trust with your prospects is hugely important in having amazing conversion rates.

If the prospect doesn’t trust you it will be very hard to make sales; emphasis on VERY and HARD.

There are various ways to build trust, some of which we’ve talked about in the past, but one of the strongest ways to build credibility and trust are testimonials.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term testimonial, basically it is an independent 3rd party verification that your solution does, in fact, do what you say it does.

Or, in other words, it is people raving about how great the product and you are.

When it comes to persuading prospects about how good your product is, testimonials are right at the top of the list.

Scattered throughout your sales copy, you continuously strengthen the various sales copy points you’re making, just make sure the testimonial supports the sales copy the prospect just read or is about to read.

We’re going to look at the various types of testimonials, how to create powerful testimonials and how to get testimonials even if you don’t have any customers yet!

Types of Testimonials

Testimonials can be so much more than the typical “your product is great” letters from customers.

Sure, those are great and you should use those that are believable and interesting; but enhance them by giving it an attention getting headline and be sure to include as much name, location and contact information as you can get; don’t forget that pictures really add to the believability.

But there are other testimonials, the ways are really limited by your own creativity but here are some ways that have proven highly effective to get you started:

  • Write a “breaking news article” by interviewing some customers, about 4 to 6, about their experiences with your product.
  • Get someone to interview your customer or do it yourself if you can’t find anyone. Ask tough questions about your product, play devil’s advocate and let the customer overcome your questions and objections; use the audio (or video) as the testimonial. This is a remarkably effective way of building trust with your prospects
  • Create a case study about some of your customers, that is, a story about how a customer used and was helped by using your product.
  • Ask your customer to create a video of them actually using your product or of results they’ve achieved (before and after work particularly good in video).

Creating Powerful Testimonials

You’ll find that many of the testimonials you get aren’t really that good. They might be poorly written, vague, sound insincere or just boring.

The obvious solutions it that if you don’t like them then don’t use them but, with a little work, you can get great ones or turn less than great into great!

Most people give the same type of testimonial, either one that says how great the product is or a sort of “before and after” testimonial; that is, they tell you their problem and how the product solved it, generally with some raving about greatness thrown in.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with those (get as many as you can :-) but, to stand out and be more believable, you can’t stop there, go one step further.

What you want are much more powerful, more “get them where it counts” testimonials.

In particular, you want testimonials that talk about specific benefits and that tell a story about a real person who had a real problem and who is absolutely elated with the product that, finally, gave them a solution.

Now, you’re probably wondering how to get such a perfect, “dream”, testimonial.

Luckily, it’s easy. It’s just a matter asking for it. Here’s what to do:

  • Contact your customers and interview them; don’t spend more than 15-30 minutes; use this to get that interesting, real-life story that your prospects will relate to.
  • Then ask the customer if you can use the interview as a testimonial.
  • Assuming they say yes, say that you’d be happy to create it for them but they will have final approval before it’s used; emphasize they will be able to say yes or no.
  • Then take the interview and craft as compelling, heartfelt testimonial as you possibly can. If the interview was good you should have some great material to work with.

Here are some things you can do to help you:

  • Figure out what you angle will be after you hear the story, comments and
  • Decide what key benefits to you want to emphasize in this testimonial; don’t always emphasize the same thing unless it is the sole or wildly most important benefit. This could be about the product, the results or about the experience; all are important, necessary and can be powerful.
  • Decide how you can best position this testimonial for maximum impact
  • Decide what will make your ideal prospect say “I am just like that” or “hey, that’s my situation”

Getting several of these will allow you to judiciously use them throughout your sales copy since they are likely to focus on different things. Plus, you’ll probably get lots of little tidbits that you can weave into your sales copy!

Getting Testimonials When You Don’t Have Customers

If you have a new product that doesn’t have any customers you’re probably wondering how you’re going to get any testimonials.

Not a problem!

Here are a few ideas you can use to get testimonials if your have no customers yet:

  • Provide free copies of the product to a select group of people with the understanding that that are expected to provide testimonials, good or bad.
  • Send out review copies to people in the your niche and have them review it for their Web site, mailing list or an independent review site like e-opinions.com. Then quote those reviews giving proper attribution. This can be a good thing to do even if you do have testimonials.
  • Do a small private launch at a drastically reduced price to get some customers and then get testimonials from them for the public launch.

Conclusion

We looked at how to use testimonials in a sales page to build trust and, ultimately, skyrocket your sales.

We saw some of types of powerful testimonials you can create, well beyond the standard “you’re great” letters.

We also looked at how to get testimonials when you don’t have customers yet.

Before I finish I want to show you how powerful testimonials can be I want to tell you a very short story I heard.

There is this star copywriter who put together a 24-page tabloid promotion that was about 80% testimonials; which is almost unheard of!

He really had to convince the company to try it because it wasn’t cheap to create and send out and there was great risk.

The copywriter felt that testimonials were so critical and powerful for this product because the main obstacle was trust in the product so he wanted lots of proof.

When I heard about it, it was about 15 months after and the client had mailed out over 10,000,000 copies and was still sending them out by the boatload.

Oh yeah, it had made them a substantial profit.

I wouldn’t suggest you try that except in very rare cases but it does point out the power that testimonials can have in making you lots of money you wouldn’t make otherwise.

This blog post was taken from my free copywriting course., if you want to learn more about having better sales copy, just sign up here

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Do you use testimonials?

If so, how and if not, why not.

It’s important enough to think about how and why/why not so leave a comment explaining it to help you understand your thinking better or to ask questions that will help you understand.

Talk soon,

David Husnian

The Shameless (Ethical) Marketer
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