by Steve Edwards, Evergreen Direct's Creative Director
Customer testimonials, client endorsements, and customer stories are essential sales and marketing tools because – very simply -- they increase sales. But WHY do they?
Sea Eagle Boats says…
“Customer testimonials give us more sales from search traffic.”
“Testimonial blog posts help SEO, so we're getting more sales from search traffic than we would otherwise. We also gain branding benefits that help out with wholesale marketing.” Visit Sea Eagle's blog.
A testimonial is a third-party endorsement. It’s an existing customer telling would-be customers they like and trust your company. Call them customer testimonials, client endorsements, great customer stories, articles, third-party comments, or whatever, they’re praise for you from an objective party who knows what they’re talking about.
"Testimonials produced $100,000 in sales in just 6 months"
"We closely measure the effectiveness of all our marketing efforts and customer testimonials are the top performers. We use testimonials to generate qualified leads and to get leads to take action – in our case, to schedule a consultation. Testimonials generated over $100,000 in sales within 6 months. That's about 1,000% ROI." — Shane O'Quinn, Marketing Director
TESTIMONIALS INCREASE YOUR CREDIBILITY
When YOU say great things about your business, consumers automatically discount your claims. But when your PAST CUSTOMERS sing your praises, would-be customers believe them.
TESTIMONIALS ADD THIRD-PARTY OBJECTIVITY
Those who give testimonials have nothing to gain, no vested interest, so they can be objective and truthful about your company. People reading their testimonial stories know they’re telling the truth.
TESTIMONIALS INCREASE READERSHIP
Testimonial stories, posts, and articles are of extreme interest to would-be customers. New customers really want to know what current customers have experienced. They depend on testimonials to help them avoid bad purchases. The testimonial page on a website often has the highest readership. Reading builds interest; interest creates desire; desire sparks action; action means buying!
TESTIMONIALS TELL YOUR VALUE STORY
A testimonial that says only, “I like it,” is not worth posting. In a great testimonial, your customer tells your VALUE STORY. Your customer tells about all the things that make your product or service unique, different, and a better value than your competitors’ offering.
TESTIMONIALS COMMUNICATE YOUR UNIQUE SELLING POINTS
What makes your product or service uniquely different and better than competitors’? These are your “unique selling points” or USPs. A great testimonial will hit squarely on your USPs.
And the net result is…
TESTIMONIALS ADD SELLING POWER
Some of the essential keys to selling are overcoming objections, solving problems, giving positive evidence, and demonstrating benefits. Great testimonials do ALL these things and more…and are a critical support in any selling scenario!
Want to learn more about increasing your sales with long-form testimonials? Email Steve
Bob Kesner, Evergreen Direct's Marketing Rainmaker, has worked for almost 35 years in national and international marketing including start-ups, small- and mid-cap firms, and Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Mexico.