+44 (0) 203 303 3172
+44 (0) 203 303 3172
2nd April 2012
Someone asked me recently the about the value of testimonials and whether they really work. To a certain extent, it depends on the business you’re in and how well you or your brand is known. Harrods, Selfridges and Rolls-Royce don’t tend to have testimonials as they are tried and tested brands who can be guaranteed to deliver in every sense of the word! But for the rest of us, and as a general rule if you can be seen to offer a good service and have built up a following, either on-line or in the real world, you ought to consider asking for and displaying testimonials. They’ll help you for these three main reasons:
Testimonials give you or your firm, product(s), or service a degree of credibility. Nowadays, people have products and services rammed down their throats from a variety of sources including direct mail, e-mail, leaflets and television advertising. It’s tough out there! If you want to stand out from the crowd you’ll have a better chance if you can convince them that you’re credible and that you can deliver! I suppose a testimonial is like one of those references you have on your CV.
But beware. Make sure that a testimonial can be easily verified. Having a testimonial which just says “Roger did a great job” A.W. Stoke-on-Trent won’t do you any favours. In fact, it’ll do the complete opposite and may make you look silly.
A good testimonial will also persuade a prospective buyer that you are good at what you do. It’s a way of allaying the fears a buyer may have about whether you can deliver on time and/or have a good and reliable back-up service. And believe me there’s nothing that gets my back up more than rubbish after-sales service! Most customers will understand this. Here’s one of my testimonials. It was written by Nick Williams of Mineserve Limited who run gold & silver investment conferences:
“Jeremy was recommended by a colleague to host/present at our recent annual investment conference. He is a very amiable person whom I got on with straight away at our initial meeting. On the actual day, his professionalism and experience made the day not only run smoothly, but was well received by all, thus making my job as an organiser so much easier and he helped ‘take the load off’ considerably! We would have no hesitation in using Jeremy’s services again.” November 7, 2008 – and he has on three occasions!
3. Right Time, Right Place
There’s no point having testimonials if they are tucked away in an obscure place in your advertising material. You have to shout about your achievements and what customers say about you. The example above appears in pride of place in my Linked-In profile page and there are others which are located on the ”About” page of my website. On a regular and measured basis the links to these are sent out on Twitter. You can do the same. Sometimes you may receive a short note from a client saying well done. My friend the business-guru, Geoff Burch was sent this by his contact at a well known truck manufacturer – “Most successful event ever, thanks to you.” Rhys Davies. These are perfect for use on Twitter and other social media but in my view you have to have a track record of success. Also, try and write articles and even a white paper on your expertise and experience. These can supplement testimonials and they can include them too!
A. Start to add testimonials to your website and marketing collateral.
B. Ensure the testimonials can be verified.
C. Testimonials must “show-off” your capabilities.