“You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give!”
64. Toot Your Horn!
Another effective way to translate value to a prospect is through the use of testimonial endorsements. Your clients are probably willing to say lots of nice things about you, your company and your products or services. But perhaps you haven’t asked them.
Many businesspeople have said to me they are uncomfortable asking a customer or client for a testimonial endorsement. Their customers are busy. And the last thing they want to do is impose or appear to be too self-serving. They are scared that such a request could jeopardize the business relationship they’ve already worked so hard to develop.
Years of experience have shown me, these are not real concerns. When you’re truly willing to serve your customers, then they’re more than willing to help you. Remember, when value, integrity and non-manipulation are high, resistance is low. My files are filled with hundreds of letters from satisfied clients. The delight, satisfaction and thanks they convey is expressed in terms, I could never even begin to duplicate.
Aside from written testimonials, clients have also given on-camera testimonials on my video-preview. However, it’s important to stress, the only way I can secure such favorable comments, is by first doing my job: not to only meet my clients’ expectations, but to exceed them.
Whether your clients begin to say incredible things about you in print, on video or even audio, your real challenge is in using these words of praise to your advantage. Here’s how: You can use this strategy either during the Reveal, Translate or Probe steps. The next time a prospect asks, “Why should we use you? What makes you so special?” or “What will you do for us, that others can’t?” here’s my suggestion: Don’t answer. That’s right, don’t answer, at least not from your perspective.
If you begin to tell a prospect what makes you so special, from whose viewpoint are you answering? Yours! And it might be said you’re somewhat biased, even if what you’re saying is true! Therefore, shift into what I call the third-party testimonial strategy. Say something like, “That’s a very good question and a fair one for you to ask. It’s also a tough one for me to answer, because I guess I’m somewhat biased. Instead, let me share with you what three other companies in your industry said about our recent work.” Here, you can either show them the letters or offer to read, send, fax or scan them the letters.
Testimonials offer tremendous power and credibility. They’re especially valuable if your prospect happens to know the person who wrote the letter. I actually had one decision- maker exclaim, “Ernie said that about you? He doesn’t like anybody. You must really be good!” This fellow quickly went from being a suspect, to a prospect, to a client!
You can also use to your benefit, the “live testimonial.” Recently, I had a prospect who was still wavering about his decision to work with me. I said to him, “Bob, I know this is an important decision and I want to make sure you’re comfortable with it. Therefore, since I know you and Mark are friendly, why don’t you call him. Mark and I just spoke yesterday and he shared with me some phenomenal news about his success, since we began working together.”
Bob called Mark. Mark raved about me and his results. Bob became a client!
The third-party testimonial strategy helps you toot your own horn—but with some assistance. While you hold the horn, your testimonial endorsers play the notes.
© Blackman & Associates, LLC
Jeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, best selling author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: 847.998.0688 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, (an Amazon Bestseller), and the revised 4th edition of the bestselling Peak Your Profits. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults