Monday, June 9, 2008

The Power of Testimonials and References

Every entrepreneur should have an understanding of the power of business testimonials and references. They are nothing more or less than personal endorsements, but they can make a huge difference to your company's bottom line.

People are extremely skeptical about doing business with companies they are unfamiliar with - especially if you're strictly online. Something as simple as a good testimony can give them the confirmation they need to buy whatever you're selling.

Here's how to maximize on this:

Take your best 5-10 clients and put their contact info on a list that you can easily email to interested ones. Be sure to let your clients know that from time to time, you may have someone contact them. Usually, most clients don't mind this - as long as people aren't calling them every single week.

In addition, post some testimonials on your web site. Use pictures if you can. Notice how I did it on one of my web sites:

It sounds simple, but doing this will drastically increase your chances of converting a potential client into an actual client. This well demonstrates the power of word-of-mouth advertising; What satisfied customers have to say can be very influential to others.

On the flip-side, be careful yourself when you are contemplating doing business with an unfamiliar company. Search their web site for testimonials. If there are none, call the company and ask for a list of references. This way you can talk to their actual clients, who can tell you whether or not they are legit.

If a company tells you that they have no testimonials or references, this may be a sign that they are running a scam. Don't jump to conclusions too fast though - It could just be a new company, with no existing clients. This, however, is rarely the case.

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