Skepticism is today’s number one trend. No matter how good your USP or advertising is, people will not trust or fully believe your claims and promises unless you are able to back them up with PROOF. One of the best ways to provide this proof is through the use of testimonials – and your website gives you the perfect vehicle for displaying them.
Since it is natural to distrust marketers, your goal should be to break down this distrust with powerful testimonials that convince prospects of your message. This is done by offering specific proof of the results of your services. Your testimonials need to be detailed and specific, including facts, figures and statistics, wherever possible. It is these details that help prospects overcome skepticism, and gain trust in your claims and promises.
Let’s look at an example. If you are trying to prove to your potential sellers that you can sell their home faster and for more money, which of these testimonials is more effective?
- "We had a wonderful experience working with John", or
- "John sold our house for $4,500 more than we listed it for and it sold it just 3 days".
Clearly the second testimonial is much more effective. The more specific and "non-wimpy" your testimonials are, the more effective they will be. The testimonials you use on your website cannot be wimpy, touchy-feely comments that visitors to your site will ignore. They should make a strong, compelling and specific claim that will cause your prospects to pay attention. Hopefully each testimonial can back up a different claim or pitch that you make.
Take another example. If you are offering a guaranteed sale program, what would be better than a testimonial that says, "When I listed with John under his guaranteed sale program I was skeptical. But when my home didn’t sell in 90 days, John bought it at the pre-agreed price."?
How do you get these testimonials? Just ask! Every time you close a deal, arrange to meet with your clients, take their picture with the SOLD sign and get them to write you a simple, specific note. At this point, nearly every satisfied client will willingly oblige. You can then easily post these testimonials to your website. In many cases, they’ll even let you write the note for them to sign.
Take a look at how Craig Proctor uses testimonials on his site. You’ll notice a couple of important things about his testimonials. First of all, the link he uses to get to his testimonials page on his website is "Avoid $13,100 Mistake". This is much more compelling than using "Testimonials" or "What My Clients Say". This link peaks curiosity in the minds of prospects, forcing them to visit his testimonials page to get more information. Once there, Craig’s testimonials include details of how a local home seller got $13,100 for his home by working with Craig. The other testimonials are similarly specific and include dollar figures and percentages. You may also wish to consider adding a particularly good testimonial right on your home page.
Using testimonials on your website is a very powerful strategy for any business. Any smart marketer will use them as much as possible. As a learning exercise, I urge you to look at how we use testimonials in our business by visiting our promotional site. The link from our home page provides a similarly enticing link that any agent would be hard pressed to skip by: "159 Ways That Actual Realtors Are Making It BIG on the Internet!" The testimonials we’ve used include specific results clients have experienced with the Success Website. They include details about response rates, number of leads, and commission figures.
This is a very simple and powerful strategy that you should be using to its fullest advantage. It will make everything you say that much more believable.