Testimonials and References: They’re Powerful

Movie theater

Photo credit: JanneM

You don’t have to look any further than Angie’s List or Yelp – two popular sites that publish consumer reviews of companies’ products and services – to see how word of mouth can make or break a business.

And that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Because the truth is you can tout how great you are until you’re blue in the face but, without unbiased voices to back you up, those are just empty words and yet-to-be filled promises.

Think about it. How many times have you watched a movie trailer with words like “Dazzling!”, “Must See!”, or “Action-Packed Thriller of the Year!” before digging a little deeper and finding hordes of critics demanding two hours of their precious lives back? Or worse, dropping $9 of your own hard-earned money ($20 + if you spring for popcorn and a slushy) only to leave the theater feeling cheated and betrayed?

Don’t let your potential clients fear betrayal. Provide them with a few testimonials, or statements from current clients you work with in a similar capacity. If the situation is right, offer to connect the two so they can confirm with a credible reference that you’re the real deal.

The beauty of it all is you shouldn’t have to go hunting these things down. You probably already have plenty. The email “Thank You” or updates on the success of a project… ask the senders if you can use these as testimonials – confidential information removed, of course – and keep them in a special folder to pull from when needed.

As an added bonus, you can scroll through your testimonials folder when you’re having a rough day. Who doesn’t need a reminder every now and then that they’re pretty great?

Ask a few of your top contacts if they’re open to talking with others about their experiences with your company. Engaging your clients on social media is also a fun, nearly effortless way to stay top-of-mind and give those not currently working with you a sneak peek into why they should.

Awhile back, I wrote about the importance of using case studies (here), which is basically telling a story that shows you rock rather than simply expecting people to take your word for it. Combining these stories with human voices via references and testimonials just might put you over the edge.

AboutMichelle McCafferty

Michelle joined the Proforma team in 2008. As the Manager of Business Development for Major Accounts, she helps Proforma Owners win new and grow existing programs through proposal and presentation development, as well as periodic Relationship Reviews. Before joining Proforma, Michelle attended Cleveland State University where she earned a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication.

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