Losing sales to your competition?

Doing lots of quoting but not getting the orders? Losing sales to your competition?

Here is the easiest way to cause sceptical buyers to do business with you rather than your competition.
Using testimonials ¬and case studies from satisfied customers and clients ¬ is one of the simplest and easiest ways to add instant credibility to your promotions. Here’s how to do it:

Always use real testimonials instead of made-up ones. Even the most skilled copywriter can rarely make up a testimonial that can match the sincerity of genuine words of praise from a real customer or client.

Prefer specific, detailed testimonials to general or superlative ones. A marketer’s initial reaction is to read a letter of praise from a customer, find a single sentence about the company or product, and, with a blue pencil, extract a few kind words.

This produces a bland bit of puffery, such as “We are very pleased with your product.” Actually, most testimonials would be stronger if we included more of the specific, detailed comments our letter writer has made about how our product or service helped him. After all, the prospects we are trying to sell to may have problems similar to one this current customer solved by using our product.

Don’t try to polish the customer’s words. When they read a testimonial that sounds like advertising, they discount it. When you get a testimonial that’s blunt and ungrammatical, use it that way.

Whenever possible, use full attribution. We¹ve all opened direct-mail packages that contained testimonials from “J.B. in Bolton” or “Jane S. House Owner.” To increase the believability of your testimonials, include the person’s name, town and (if a business customer) job title and company.

There are two basic ways to present testimonials: You can group them together in one area of your brochure or ad or you can scatter them throughout the copy. All else being equal, I prefer the first approach: to group all your testimonials and present them as a single block of copy.

My feeling is that when the prospect reads a half-dozen or so testimonials, one right after another, they have more impact and power than when the testimonials are separated and scattered throughout the piece.

Finally, get the customer’s permission to reprint his words before including his testimonial in your marketing campaign. Send a letter quoting the lines you want to reprint. Ask permission to include them in ads, direct mail, brochures and other materials used to promote your firm. This way, you can use the testimonials again and again.

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Graham Corrigan