How to Get and Use Testimonials

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Small businesses don't have the same luxury of 'brand-name
recognition' that the big companies have. Thus, we have to
work that much harder to earn our visitor's trust. One way
to build this all-important credibility is to get and use
testimonials from happy customers.

__HOW TO GET TESTIMONIALS FOR AN EXISTING PRODUCT

If your product or service has been available for some
time, then it's not that hard to find out how your
customers feel about their purchase or your service.

1) Unsolicited Testimonials.

Your customer may be so thrilled with your product that
he or she just has to let you know how happy she is. As
a courtesy, you may want to acknowledge her message and
ask for permission to use her testimonial in your
promotions and on your website.

2) Ask.

Don't assume that happy customers will write to you.
Be proactive! For example, you can contact your customers
and ask them for feedback on your product or service. You
can even include an evaluation form with your package to
save time. You'll get both valuable suggestions for product
improvements, and hopefully some testimonials as well.

I've found that customers will often email me with a
question or comment that shows how much he appreciates
my product or service. I answer the email thoroughly,
then follow up with a request for a testimonial.

__HOW TO TESTIMONIALS FOR NEW PRODUCTS OR SERVICES

What do you do if your product is brand-new? You may not
yet have customers, or perhaps your product/service is
something that takes time before results can be seen (for
example, a dog training tutorial).

1) Get a 'Personal Referral'.

Ask colleagues, subscribers, or previous customers
from another product line to attest to your knowledge,
integrity, great customer service, or how your other
product has helped them.

2) Approach a Colleague for a Review.

Find another 'expert' in your target market (*not* a
competitor, though!) and offer him or her a complimentary
copy of your product for review. This has two advantages:
first, you'll get constructive feedback about your
product from someone in your field... and secondly,
you may get a testimonial from it.

Testimonials from 'experts' certainly helps to add
credibility to your offer. However, try to get customer
testimonials as well - it helps to show that you have
happy customers, not just happy colleagues. :-)

3) Make a Special Offer to Your Target Audience.

For example, you could offer the first 20 people to
contact you a free or discounted copy/sample of your
product in exchange for feedback and a testimonial (if
they feel it's warranted, of course).

__A FEW PARTING TIPS...

* Use real testimonials. They have that genuine 'ring' to
them.

* Don't 'polish' or edit to an extreme. Let the testimonial
speak for itself.

* If possible, add credibility by including a name, email
address or URL, your customer's state or province of
residence, or even the customer's company name, job
title, etc.

* Longer testimonials often have more 'impact' than short
ones. Many testimonials can easily be edited to read:

'...truly amazing...'
'...gorgeous...stunning...'

On the other hand, a longer testimonial can be far more
persuasive:

'I was initially reluctant to order any type of jewelry
online ... but I was thrilled when I got my bracelet!
It's gorgeous, one of the most stunning pieces I own.
Thank you so much for your wonderful catalog, and for
your excellent service. I'll be back!'

* Use specific testimonials, whenever possible. Details
make a much 'stronger' or more persuasive testimonial.
For example, 'I love your book!' is not as effective as:

'It's been six months since I purchased your highly
motivating book. I started a new exercise program that
I've stuck to now for 5 months and at 46 years of age,
I have never been more fit in my life. I feel great,
and as an added bonus I've even lost 10 pounds. Thank
you so much. I love your book!'

You can find additional tips in the article, 'How to Harness
the Power of Testimonials', available at
http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/articles estimonialtips.html

Don't be shy to seek and display testimonials -- they're
a valuable asset for marketing your business, and they help
to convert prospects into paying customers.

About the Author

__________

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical
guide to building a business on a beginner's budget. It's
a proven hit with beginners, for the down-to-earth style
and loads of instantly useable tips! For details, visit
http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/article.html
OR request a series of 10 free reports to get you started:
http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/freereports.html

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