Help Me Help You (CogMar Process F)

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Testimonials can go a long way in helping you gain more clients - when leveraged the right way. 

How are you leveraging your testimonials? Effective testimonials can't just be the hero's story. Any good story arc has rises and falls preceding the resolution. If I'm a prospect in the pre-contemplation stage, I need a safety guarantee. I need to know the person in this testimonial was once like me: scared of change, in denial, and not content with where they were. Only then can I resonate with the story of the incredible results your service/product offered that person.

Throughout the buying and selling process, you should be demonstrating what it looks like to work with your company without any undue pressure to take action. That's why the ABC (Always Be Closing) approach doesn't work like it did in the 80s. High-pressure selling only pushes prospects away.

The modern buyer puts as much emphasis on the buying process as they do on the purchase itself. That's why it's crucial to shift to a totally different mindset that places the buyer first: Always be helping.

Quality testimonials build quality relationships between your prospects and your business. They want to know more about you and visualize what their future looks like using your products and/or services. With robust credibility, you build trust that ultimately converts prospects to leads and eventually sales. 

Here are the reasons late-stage testimonials are essential in the current competitive environment.

1.      It Acts As a Formalized Word-Or-Mouth 

Traditional word-of-mouth is one of the most effective ways to have a positive influence on your prospects. Using positive comments from your previous buyers strengthens the company's overall position and success as a whole. Whenever possible, testimonials should feature photos and videos to make the testimonial more compelling, authentic, and relatable. 

2.      Enhances Credibility and Expertise

Growing a loyal customer base requires establishing credibility and a high level of expertise to grow trust in your brand. Buyers evaluate solutions in different ways, with a significant focus on checking comments, feedback, reviews, and testimonials. Your former customers act as brand ambassadors by helping new prospects relate to their experiences and the similar challenges they've overcome by working with your company.

3.      Save On Advertising Costs

The highly competitive environment leads to most businesses using immeasurable amounts of time and money. It also increases the need to use different kinds of advertisements with the hope that it pays off. With testimonials, advertising is free. Yes, you can add costs to help promote the testimonials. But the key is to offer a safety-net for your prospects to hear from a third-party perspective.

You don't (rather, you shouldn't) pay for testimonials that come from your previous customers. You ensure your customers offer great testimonials by setting the right expectations and providing quality services that inspire them to naturally praise your company and share their experiences. 

4.      Enhance Overall Business Performance

After reviewing the above benefits, it is clear that testimonials are an effective marketing tool to boost your credibility, positively influence and convert leads, and ultimately increase sales.

By having quality testimonials on your website and training your salesforce to know when to leverage them, you speed up the purchasing process for new customers. When the prospects find positive reviews they can relate with, the next step is buying. Combining this significant influence of testimonials with other marketing efforts (e.g. social media, email marketing, etc.) effectively boosts your business performance.

Tips for Effective Use of Testimonials to Convert Leads

Using your testimonials properly helps you to convert prospects to leads. Use these tips to ensure you create quality testimonials to convert leads:

Be Selective

The key to succeeding with testimonials is by finding the right one that works best for each prospect's specific challenges. Instead of using direct recommendations for your products, your salesforce can leverage testimonials that tackle similar pain points. 

Show Face

Visuals are the most attractive marketing method to enhance click-through rates. Prospects want to put a face on a name. They feel more secure and confident about what is in the testimonials. They show the application and results of using your products or services in real life. Ensure you add images and videos whenever possible as a simple addition to boost your trust factor tenfold.

Show Them Off In Various Places

It is essential to show off your testimonials. Include concise snippets on your website's homepage or product/service pages, with robust testimonials on a dedicated case study pages. Ensure they fit wherever you place to keep it as natural as possible. You don't want prospects to feel forced with the testimonials. Ensure the videos are short, precise, and direct to show expertise and offer competitive leverage.

Analyze Your Buyers Journey

Every buyer is unique in terms of how they want to use your products or services. By speaking to their pain points, you naturally boost their buying experience and elevate your standing amongst competitors. Most prospects will have already checked out your website and looked for testimonials before ever contacting you. Ensure that they provide your prospects with the information needed to visualize a better end-state with your company's services.

Never Fake It

One fundamental rule for creating testimonials is to be authentic and use real customers.  By faking testimonials, you are working against your own efforts to establish trust with your prospect. Even if you win customers, they are likely to have unrealistic expectations. And when your true capabilities (or ineptitudes) come to the surface, your business reputation will be on the line.

Leveraging Testimonials

Testimonials are the way to go in showing your prospects that your products and/or services are worth buying. Let your prospects see themselves in your current customers' shoes.

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