It is interesting that some sales people have not testimonials even when they have been in sales for years. When I find sales people in this category I ask them what the reasons are for no testimonials from their customers.
The answer is always the same – I have never asked for a testimonial from them.
Wow, one of the most important things you can do as sales person for your own credibility with new prospects and there is a breakdown in asking.
Today you need as many testimonials as you can get to show others how well you operate with customers, how well you solve customer problems, how fast you follow up on customer calls, and how well your company takes care of its customers – not to mention any advantages your products and service over the competition.
Since one of the keys to credibility is having current testimonials as well as old ones – shows a consistency and reliability of action that most prospects and customers are actively looking for in today’s environment. Here is the catch – to have current testimonials you must ask your current customers to give one to you. Therefore, your objective is to ask them to write down a comment they make over the phone, at lunch, during a meeting or at a trade association. Get them to commit to a letter, an email or better an audio or video. I carry a camcorder in my briefcase and just pull it out and shoot in the hall or office. The customer loves it.
A couple of additional points of importance…
- Get their permission to use the testimonial with others – this is both a courtesy and a necessity of law. If they are willing to do it, then chances are they will give you permission to use it.
- Use the statement “Would You Mind Sharing What You Just Said?” – this is the classic call to action on a testimonial. The customer has just said something good about you, your product, comparison to competitors, etc. Now is the time to ask them to write it down, talk into the microphone or stand in the best light for a video recording. It works for developing b2b sales – try it.
The thing to remember is to get a testimonial or a sale – you have to ask for it. Seldom will a customer just send you a letter stating how wonderful you are (it does happen that way) however, you need a number of testimonials about different problems solved, situations encountered and resolved, etc. The more testimonials you have the easier it is to influence your prospects since you are not telling them how good you are – your customers are telling them! It does not get any better than than.