There are many strategies you can use to increase sales, but one of the simplest and most effective is to get glowing testimonials that perspective clients can read. Testimonials establish you as an expert; they say you deliver what you promised and that you get great results. And if someone is on the fence as to whether or not to hire you or purchase your product, testimonials can actually close the sale. Yet, most small business owners don't have a system for regularly getting testimonials even when they've been in business for a while.
If you are making money it means you have happy clients, which means you have people who would probably willingly offer you a testimonial. Even if you are just starting out, you can offer your services for free or at a reduced rate to several people in return for testimonials. This is a common practice among business owners who offer online courses. They get some well respected colleagues to review the material at no cost in return for an honest testimonial.
Here are 7 testimonial tips:
1. Ask for testimonials when the client is most happy with your product or service. Determine in advance when that usually occurs and make it a point to always ask.
2. Have a formal system for asking. One of my favorites is to ask clients to fill out a short survey about your services and at the end ask if their answers could be used as a testimonial. You can also ask directly, or send a request by email.
3. Make sure you have as much identifying information about the person who wrote the testimonial as is possible. Ask for their photo, their full name, their city, their website address. If it's a business they will be very happy to have you link back to their website. The more information you have, the more believable the testimonial becomes. Testimonials that are signed with just a first name and a city are pretty useless since they look like someone made them up, even if they are legitimate.
4. Place testimonials on EVERY important web page on your website, not tucked away on a testimonials page that few people see.
5. Use the same testimonials in printed marketing materials like ads, flyers and brochures.
6. Show testimonials when meeting with a prospect.
7. Be strategic about the testimonials you request. For example if you are trying to sell a particular product get testimonials that state results people received from that specific product (or service). Ask people who have purchased the product specific questions that relate to the benefits they received and the problems your product solved.
Finally great testimonials can allow you to charge more for your services. When you have glowing testimonials from lots of satisfied clients, other people who want those results will be willing to pay top dollar to work with you or purchase the product.
Put together a system for getting testimonials right away and look forward to increased sales and more ideal clients who require little convincing to purchase from you.
Janis Pettit may be contacted at http://www.smallbusiness-bigresults.com
Janis Pettit is a small business coach and marketing expert who has owned successful small businesses for 21 years and has coached hundreds of small and solo business owners, showing them how to dramatically increase profits and build wealth. She is co-author of 136 Ways to Market Your Small or Solo Business and creator of numerous business marketing home-study courses and coaching programs. Get her free e-book, 12 Secrets to Building a Profitable Small or Solo Business, plus access to business building audios. Visit her blog at http://janispettit.com.