Part 5d: Plan Details
Testimonials or Endorsements Page
Successful websites are based on trust. Trust is perhaps the key element of any successful business endeavor. People must trust you in order to do business with you. People must trust you in order to hire you.
You can say good things about yourself all day long, but many people will still not believe you. In fact, the more you toot your own horn, the more skeptical people become. Herein lies the power of the testimonial or endorsement.
A testimonial is when someone has used your product or service and shares a “testimony” about their experience.
An endorsement is someone’s statement about you, whether they have used your product or service, or not. In essence, they are saying, “I stand behind this person, this product, or this service.”
Both testimonials and endorsements are powerful trust-building tools. Before you include them on your website, you need to be clear on what you are looking for, what you hope people to say about you, and what you hope this page will accomplish. Remember your Ultimate Strategic Objectives!
My goal is that we will cover the aspect of testimonials and endorsements very thoroughly so you will know forever from today how to approach it. Most business people have never understood the lesson you will now learn. If you doubt this, I challenge you to ask any member of your household or any business person you trust. Feel free to show them this lesson and get their feedback. I expect most of them will assure you that it’s very thorough and strategic and some of them will even want to implement some of the ideas in their own businesses.
(This is my way of saying, “This is not just high school level business strategy we are dealing with here. This is the highest level of strategy you’ll find anywhere on the market. It will work for most businesses in most industries at any level, in any place in the world.”)
Understand this: business has operated in the same way for thousands of years—trust is gained in the minds of a buyer when another previous buyer speaks well of a seller. Today as we market our products or services across a wider geographic area, we are normally selling to people who don’t know us. One of the missing ingredients in these types of selling attempts is that of trust.
Testimonies of other people build trust. Endorsements from influential people build trust. Businesses that go after true business acceleration approach the idea of testimonials, endorsements and other methods we’ll talk about in a systematic manner.
Here’s what we’re going to cover in this lesson. You will notice that I’ve broken down the bulk of this lesson into the following questions:
• What Formats?
Let’s start by answering the “Why” question because this is the foundation for getting a large number of influential testimonials and endorsements that will accelerate your business.
It is obvious that gaining the testimonial or endorsement of an influential member of your community would propel your business forward. And the more testimonials and endorsements you have in operation, the greater your sales will be. If you have any doubts about that, look inside the latest popular books. They are usually filled with the endorsements of names we might recognize.
Why do authors (and business people) need to do this?
Because when a respected person endorses your business or gives you a testimonial, it does two things:
• It takes the fear out of the buying decision. After all, “if he/she endorses it, it must be okay”.
• It allows the buyers to place the blame on the endorser, rather than on themselves, if something were to go wrong.
The reason is: people buy on emotion, but when they go home and are confronted by their spouse or friend or boss, they have to justify it with logic. The man showing his wife the testimonials of other great men and women who have bought the same product is a perfect method. She can’t say, “You’re stupid” because it makes her look stupid by accusing other recognized people of their stupidity!”
Here’s a basic truth of business: Advertising does not build trust. We live in a skeptical, un-trusting culture. When you approach a prospective client and you say, “I am trustworthy and my product is trustworthy”, he is likely to distrust what you say. You can’t toot your own horn too much because people will have a tendency to disbelieve you.
Having said that, people are looking for someone to trust, so if you have satisfied clients who sing your praises, then they are more apt to trust you. Your prospects want proof that what you say is true and the solution you offer is true. Getting testimonials from as many clients as possible, and gaining endorsements from influential people is a powerful necessity.
Gaining testimonials and endorsements from a large number of people, especially those who are influential, is one of the highest-impact, lowest-cost actions you can take to propel your business forward. In fact, it is one of the main building blocks for true business acceleration.
People will not take action because they are afraid of looking foolish, or making a mistake.
This fear of looking foolish is a huge deterrent in their life. People hate to look foolish.
When you’re building your website, you have to show people that they would be foolish to go somewhere else, and a great way to do this is show them testimonials of other (important) people who have bought from you and had a positive experience.