Today’s Purple Diamond marketing blog deals with the importance of testimonials. Testimonials can be extremely effective for validating your business in the eyes of consumers. Customer testimonials offer the power of “social proof” (a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of the others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation). They can be used to help define you by association to others. Often when selecting a product or a service people will either look for testimonials to help decide if they are interested, or they will notice the testimonial and who it is from and be swayed subconsciously.
There are two main reasons testimonials work for generating new business. The most obvious one is that someone is giving you the general “OK” sign. Many times people will want to do work with a business, but hold back because they can’t instantly see a reputation. Depending on the quantity and quality of them, testimonials can make up for a good deal of that ground for many people and be the sort of green light they needed to justify the buy. Beyond that people instinctively have this desire to “keep up” with one another. If someone is having a dialogue about a product or service, subconsciously there is a little voice inside that tells us we should have our opinions on the subject as well. The other reason a testimonial can cut so deep is that someone cared enough to say something. In fact theoretically someone was willing to stake their reputation on your product or service. The number of products I use consistently without giving a testimonial is pretty high. I suspect it’s high for anyone reading this as well. When someone cares enough to mention it and stake their own name on the results others will see, it makes a difference.
How easy it is to get a referral will vary from industry to industry, but there are very few where it can’t be done at all. There are certain times when it’s more effective. If you already know a customer is visibly and noticeably smitten with your performance, you can ask right then while they’re “all fired up”. If you really hit it out of the park and showed them you are an ambassador for your craft, they will be more than enthusiastic to lend support so that you can be counted amongst the best and bring in more business.
Most consumers today cringe at a sales pitch and prefer to be seen as an educated consumer who seeks out their own information on what to purchase. Your website and other marketing collateral might be written well and clearly tell of your expertise, but that does not have the same impact that comes from an endorsement of your product or service. Customer testimonials are viewed as more authentic and can validate the claims that your business makes. In short, customers prefer to trust other customers and will look for online reviews and testimonials before they will hire your business or purchase your product. Be proactive with your marketing and be sure to include testimonials on your website and as part of your media kit.
Written by Guest Blogger – Ken Pellegrino. Ken Pellegrino is a freelance writer and part-time marketer at Purple Diamond LLC with a background in business management, marketing, sales and customer relations. A graduate from Salem State University’s Bertolon School of Business with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing, Ken shares his passion for marketing and sales with the owner of Purple Diamond, his mother, Charlene St Jean. In addition to his love of marketing, Ken is also a talented guitarist who enjoys both writing and playing music.