Simple Strategies for Mobilizing Powerful Testimonials and Reviews
How do you grab a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
Ask the audience! While “experts” tend to get a trivia question right two-thirds of the time, the audience gets that answer right 91 percent of the time.
Why? Because individually we are limited, but collectively we are genius.
In today’s global economy, buyers understand the importance of collective intelligence. People rely on others to help them decide what movies to see, which vet to patronize, or the best software to buy. More than half of adults under age 50 consult online reviews before making a purchase decision, and 88% read reviews to determine the quality of a local business.
Meet One of the Millions
AutoTrader.com put testimonials to work in a recent print ad for their company.
To recruit new dealers for their association, AutoTrader.com used a pocket folder with sell sheet inserts featuring recent, happy buyers. These 5x7 flyers introduced customers with the headline, “Meet One of the Millions,” and displayed photos of real clients next to their most recent car purchase.
A family of four who purchased from Shults Ford in Pittsburgh had this to say about their car search:
“When we couldn’t find the exact vehicle we wanted in our area and saw your commercial, we logged onto your website and found it instantly! Who knew the perfect Volvo V70 was sitting at Shults Ford, just 50 miles away.”
Autotrader.com produced a variety of sell sheet flyers with a common theme: real customers, standing next to real vehicles, listed in real geographical locations, with upbeat reviews about their experience.
While testimonials varied, the tagline stayed the same: “Your next customer is here.”
How to Build Social Proof
People depend on reviews, and companies that publish testimonials dramatically increase the quality and quantity of their marketing leads.
This means your company’s best marketers aren’t your employees – they’re your existing customers. In many industries, there is nothing more powerful than social proof, and this is something that can be mobilized in your favor.
What is the best way to gather testimonials?
By asking! Ask clients directly, especially when your customer has just complimented you, tagged your brand on social media, re-ordered your product, or referred a friend. Ask people face-to-face, by incentivizing employees to collect feedback, or by using the “tip” trick.
The tip trick is effective when you’ve spent a significant amount of time with a client or a project. After your commitment is complete, ask for a review with this prompt: “if you had a good experience and include my name in this review, our company will give me a $__ tip.” In this scenario, happy clients are more likely to offer testimonials because it offers a free way to tip someone they appreciate – a win for everyone!
When asking for testimonials, you can help people find the right words, with questions like:
- What was it like before you had our product/service?
- What problems were you trying to solve with our product/service?
- What made our company stand out from other options you considered?
- What has exceeded your expectations since working with our company?
- How much time/money does our product save you each day/week/month?
- What have you been able to achieve since making this decision?
- What would you tell someone who is considering this purchase?
Get the Good Gossip Flowing
Telling people your business is the best in the industry won’t prompt people to reach for their wallets.
But hearing this message from others might convince them to do so. Great reviews can make or break your brand and serve as a lead generating engine for your sales team.
What are you waiting for? Start collecting and featuring customer stories today!