Take a cup of hot, steaming coffee.
Add one spoon of sugar.
Add another spoon of sugar.
Then just for good measure, add three more spoons (yes, of sugar)
Now drink the coffee
Now, now, no ‘yuck' from you. I know the coffee is sickeningly sweet. And that coffee is headed straight for the drain in a few seconds. Nothing that sweet should be allowed to exist.
Ahem…have you looked at your testimonials recently?
Let's look at them testimonials, shall we, pardner?
“I loved your product. I bought it just yesterday, and your content has been the most enlightening I've ever read. Thanks so much for putting out this information. I don't know how I managed without it.”
“Believe me, I'm so grateful to you for all your invaluable help. I absolutely want you to know that your consulting made a big difference to my life. You deserve all the good things that come your way.”
Ooh, suddenly you can see the five teaspoons of sugar, can't you?
The testimonials on your website, brochure and the rest of your marketing material is starting to look like, eyewwww yuck…aren't they?
Except, you're in a dilemma
You didn't write the testimonials. You can't control what customers say.
Or can you?
If you're getting icky, sugary-sweet testimonials, it's not the client's fault. No sireeee, it's not!
It's your fault. You've been asking the wrong questions.
Questions? I'm supposed to ask questions?
If your question has been limited to: “Can you give me a testimonial?”, then go wash your mouth with soap. You're literally setting yourself up for a testimonial that's coming straight out from left field.
You see, the client is not in the business of giving testimonials
They haven't a clue in the world what to say or write, when you ask for your testimonial. So to prevent you from looking bad, they write something sweet and sugary.
How to cut out the sweet and sugary stuff right away
Ask the client three questions:
1) What were your perceptions before you bought our product/service and were you reluctant in any way?
2) How did you feel as a result of using the product/service?
3) What specific results did you get as a result of using the product/service?
So let's take apart the psychology behind each question
1) The ‘Perception' Question: The first question usually brings out the bad stuff. Like “I thought you were too expensive.” or “I thought this product was just for the geeks” and other assorted perceptions.
2) The ‘What did you Find' Question: The second question is pure emotion. Notice how it uses the word ‘feel?' That trigger word ‘feel' gets you a response that's based on feeling. The client now feels ‘confident', ‘reassured', ‘ecstatic', etc. The feeling is a response that other customers respond to as well, so emotion is a vital part of your testimonial.
3) The ‘Specific Results' Question: This clearly demonstrates that we're now past the touchy-feely stage. It's alright to feel good, but hey, show me the buckeroos! A specific answer will have: ‘25% growth', ‘$12,000', etc.
There's a side-effect to this questioning method
Suddenly, the testimonials you receive, won't be one measly line. They'll be several paragraphs long. Some will exceed a page. When customers are asked specific questions, they give long, detailed answers.
These answers not only enable you to post some real testimonials in your marketing material, but also enable you to see what your customer is thinking.
If you stop to read between the lines, you'll quickly see how you can change your copy, graphics, etc., based on Question 1.
Because if the customer was reluctant for any reason, you can bet your pink booties that you've got other customers who feel the same reluctance. So, by asking the right questions, not only do you get an insight, but you also get a darned good testimonial as well!
Here's just one example of a testimonial. Notice how long and detailed it is.
“I've purchased a number of information products and memberships on the web. Some of them have been valuable resources, and some have been far less than wonderful.
I wasn't apprehensive about purchasing something else from Sean. I'd already benefitted from his many articles and responses on other forums and groups, and I use the concepts from The Brain Audit all the time.
What I was apprehensive about was how much I would actually USE the resources that were sure to be found at 5000BC. Sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach, so to speak, and I buy things that sit and are never consumed. Or else I get into a learning mood and have so many resources I can be overwhelmed. I guess I want “just-in-time” learning.
So I took a chance, knowing Sean's business model of giving, giving, giving, and always exceeding expectations.
What I have found is a diverse community of like-minded people, intent on sharing their expertise with those who need it-in the moment they need it!
Sean also works hard at encouraging his participants to actually consume what they purchase from him. There are new discussions started to expand on a recent article, or there are nifty questions that cause us to think beyond what we'd come up with on our own. I visit The Cave on a daily basis, bacause I realize now how much relevant material it has-just in time!
One of the best things about being a part of 5000BC is that I have given up looking for the next good idea somewhere else. I've read Alan Weiss, Peter Block, Joe Vitale, gotten ezines by Alex Mandosian, Dan Kennedy, and John Forde. They all have good things to say, and lots to say! Sean seems to distill the best of those on the forefront and saves me a ton of time and energy. And he doesn't seem to shout, either…
I don't need to hunt through amazon.com or my local bookstore to find another book that I don't have time to read. And I no longer need to search the web for technical information. Almost any resource I want is available in The Cave.
Even better, I now have new friends on three continents and an invitation to a party in New Zealand in January. How cool is that?”
Alice Wojcio, 5000bc Member since 2004
So will every testimonial be darned good?
No, don't be silly! A lot of the testimonials you get will be unsolicited. And they'll be sugary. That's cool. If you've got a whole lot of sugary testimonials don't throw them out quite yet! (Yeah, I know you weren't planning to).
However, be sure to sprinkle them with a good dose of testimonials that answer the three specific questions above. A good mix of sugary and realistic testimonials make your message more believable. And a whole lot less hype-ridden.
Yes, your customers want a nice, steaming cup of your ‘testimonial.'
Just hold the sugar, will ya?
Recommended Product: Learn how to use the power of the ‘six critical questions' to get incredible testimonials–and attract clients that make every day an absolute joy.