Big businesses get instant credibility with their well-known
company name or brand name. But small companies have to
create their own credibility. One of most powerful tools you
can use for this is customer testimonials.

Here are 5 tips to help you get persuasive testimonials
…and use them to convert prospects into buyers.


1. Continuously Collect Testimonials

Start by setting up a file to store the positive comments
you get from customers. Many good testimonials are hidden in
the casual comments customers make during normal communications.

Don’t overlook the positive comments you get by phone or in
person. Write them down and add them to your file.

Next, look for some ways you can stimulate customers to give
you testimonials. For example, send a postcard or email
message to recent customers asking what they liked best about your product or service. You’ll be surprised at some of the glowing comments you get.

You don’t need a lot of testimonials before you can start
using them. Three is normally enough unless your sales message is unusually long.

2. Try to Get Varied Testimonials

All of your prospects and customers are not exactly the
same. Different aspects of your products and services are likely to appeal to different prospects.

Try to get testimonials that mention a variety of results
achieved by your customers. The more benefits you can reveal
with customer testimonials, the more business they will generate for you.

3. Some Testimonials Are Better Than Others

Avoid using testimonials that are not specific. For example,
“I really liked your service a lot”, is nice for you to know. But it won’t stimulate many prospects to buy.

Instead, look for testimonials that describe specific
results. For example, “In just 2 weeks I lost 9 pounds, feel years younger and still continue to enjoy my favorite foods.” That testimonial will motivate anybody who wants to lose weight to get your program fast.

4. Get Permission to Use Testimonials

Always get your customer’s permission before using their
testimonial. And tell them how they will be identified with the testimonial. For example, I usually include at least my customer’s name, city and state (or country).

If you sell to businesses instead of to individuals you may
want to include some other things about each customer with their testimonial. For example, your customer’s title, the company name, the type of industry or anything else that would appeal to other customers like them.

5. Highlight Testimonials When You Use Them

You can group all testimonials together in your sales letter
or web page …especially if the message is short. Or you can scatter them strategically throughout your message …especially if the message is long. But always highlight testimonials so they stand out from the rest of your

For example, display them in italic letters enclosed in quote marks. On web pages you can further highlight them in yellow or some other color that contrasts with the background color of the page.

The 5 tips in this article revealed how you can get persuasive testimonials — and use them with maximum impact. Start applying these tips now in your business and you will quickly start converting more prospects into buyers.

© 2004 Bob Leduc

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