Imagine that you were involved in a legal battle and your lawyer tells the judge that you are an honest upstanding corporate citizen and in his opinion you shouldn't be subjected to these allegations. He enthusiastically requests the judge to dismiss the case.
If that were how your case was presented by your lawyer, with only claims and opinions and no facts or evidence to support the claims,
As sales professionals, we also need to provide evidence. We need to validate the claims we make about the features and – more importantly – the benefits that we are suggesting our products and services provide. If we, as the sales professional make a statement about our product or service, it's often seen as self-serving at best and likely an untruth. But, if the prospect or client says it's true,
He told me that he welcomes the opportunity to answer questions that any prospect may have because of the future-altering experience he had and the massive benefits he's realizing. He says he's gotten more done in the last four months than he had in the last five years and has had the passion needed to run a successful business rekindled.
Getting that kind of proof means we need to be fanatical about getting good testimonials.
I don't get all of the testimonials that were promised to me, but I do get enough that I can leverage in a variety of ways. (See this article on sales resistance D.E.F.E.A.T.S.)
- LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations.
- Edification videos, such as videos from a client attending a workshop. I have posted these on YouTube and LinkedIn. Clients often ask for these in advance of their coaching sessions.
- Social media through live video posts on Facebook and Periscope
- Anytime I speak to a group I capture a video of the speech or have an evaluation form to capture comments. I make sure they sign a release so comments can later be used in marketing. (There is just one thing between “sue” and “sure,” so don’t forget the signed release forms.)
- When holding a coaching or training event.
- During my coaching sessions.
The key to making this work for you
I position the testimonial in advance and let people know that I am looking for their help in making it easy for others that are considering retaining me to make up their minds to use me. I often use an evaluation form that asks for their feedback and permission to use their testimonials. I'll ask them to do a video testimonial and use my smart phone to record it. This makes it obvious it’s from the heart and not scripted.
- By Coach Phil Gilkes