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The importance of testimonials

Early on I learned breaking bread and doing business can be virtually synonymous.

My hometown (New York City) offers few golfing options, and not everyone drinks or enjoys sporting events. But everyone HAS to eat, offering three daily selling opportunities.

Now that I’m a Californian, today’s conversation is at Carlsbad’s Shorehouse Kitchen. I’ve never been here, but three friends recommended the place.

Admittedly, having a sales call at a new venue can be risky, but I trust the folks who referred me here. Meaning testimonials drove two new customers to this restaurant.

The reality in the business world is that nobody wants to feel like they’re your first customer. Because that first customer figures you’re learning your business on their dime. They’d much prefer you learn at someone else’s expense, and let them benefit from the experience you glean from the other guy.

Now let’s assume your business has had successes. Let’s further assume you have clientele willing to say nice things about you.

Yet odds are good you’re not regularly posting those customer comments on social media. Which means you’re missing opportunities, business and revenue.

Many people tell me they’re not comfortable tooting their own horn. If you assume that position, your competition will probably steal your business.

True, posting testimonials to your website’s a good place to start, but it’s not enough. Because you’re assuming someone’s visiting your site. Given the 50 billion+ web pages on the internet vying for attention, that’s a big assumption.

Besides, posting signed testimonials gives you additional exposure, wider distribution and a chance to hashtag the name of whoever said something nice about you. That allows you to also reach out to THEIR friends and contacts for possible business relationships.

If you already have testimonials on file, post the best ones online weekly. Periodically search Google for any stray comments you might have missed, and incorporate them into your rotation.

And include appropriate images to increase visibility.

Finally, regularly ask your customers for testimonials. People are happiest within 30 days of a purchase, so that’s your window of opportunity.

As for the Shorehouse meeting, the conversation went well and the meal was great. If you need a good place for a business meeting, go there and tell them Mr. Marketing sent you.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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