In business, it’s all about relationships; you build a relationship with your clients.  You build a relationship with your network, and you still have to build a relationship with your prospective clients.  If you consistently build a string of successes, pretty soon you have a solid foundation for your business. 

That is all well and fine but some of us may have bigger goals.  Why, you may have set your sites on world conquest, a franchise coast to coast with your name all over it.

There is just one little problem.  How do you build a relationship with the whole world?

This all takes time.  There has to be a way to speed-up the process. 

Speed-up may be a poor choice of words I think “Warm-Up” is more appropriate.  What will it take to get new customers to “Warm-Up” to you?  The answer is, TESTIMONIALS.

Testimonials, if done right, can be extremely effective for drawing in new clients.

For example:

“Pete is a great plumber. I have known him for years”

“Joe’s Plumbing suggested a tankless water heater.  My energy bill was cut in half and I can’t tell you how nice it is to turn on my shower and not have to wait for the water to get hot.”

– David Madison, Santa Ana

If you were looking for a plumber, who would you call?

3 components of a good testimonial

Be specific: In the above plumber testimonials, one lacked specifics and the other mentioned the business and the product specifically.  You need testimonials that answer how and why.  How did you or your product help them?   Why did they choose you or your product?

Credibility: People can spot a fake.  You need it to sound credible and sincere.  If you can get the full name of a person and a picture or avatar, it lends itself to be more credible.  If your customer can give you a video testimonial, that is even better.

 If it is a businessperson, then you want to get not only his or her name but the name of the business and their position, even a logo and website address if possible.

When I have a particularly difficult Wedding cake or impossible deadline I know I can count on Aldo’s Pastries.  Their cakes are phenomenal and it frees me to concentrate on the thousand other tasks at hand.

 – Claire DeRume,   CEOClaire’s Wedding Planners –

 Most companies won’t object to this type of “Cross Promotion” it is good for The Wedding Planner and good for the Bakery. 

Address common concerns or objections: When someone looks at your brochure or ad or website, they don’t know you.  They have questions, the same questions that new customers ask you every day.  You need testimonials that answer the most common concerns.  (It may be cost, usefulness, durability, warranty, maintenance and so on.) 

We know we can answer all of our prospects concerns. In fact, we need to toot-our-horn a bit to make the sale half of the time, but we run the risk of sounding like a braggart. 

A testimonial may say same the exact same thing you just said, yet to a prospective client, it means more.  It carries more weight, because it comes from the lips of another client.  So let your customers do the bragging for you.

A well done testimonial puts a prospective client at ease.  It gives them that warm and fuzzy feeling that lets them know they made the right decision.

Happy endings make us feel warm and fuzzy.  We have been programmed from the beginning the ugly duckling is a swan, Cinderella finds her prince, cowboys ride into the sunset.  

A testimonial is a story straight from the lips of your satisfied customers.  It is their happy ending.  A story of you, your product and services and how you made their life better.

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