The Sales Testimonial – A Cautionary Note

We use them in our voicemail messages, early in new conversations and in our emails.  We do white papers on them – all the time. But is it possible that our testimonial approach is turning prospects off?

Apparently, yes. It is possible.  And I was surprised, because I’ve been thinking about and “hearing” testimonials from my own side of the fence and that side is based on my intention for using this approach. My intention in using a testimonial approach has always been to create a bridge between my prospective client and current clients for whom we have worked successfully.  In my mind, the emphasis has always been on the potential similarity between the problems or situation that both current and potential clients are facing.  So where you might ask, is the danger in that?

According to an article I just read, the problem is that many people will interpret that testimonial approach as me talking about my company and how wonderful we are.  Reading that article made we want to immediately comment that it isn’t true and that’s not what that approach is about. But, that would be a mistake because you can never be totally sure that what you think you’re saying is what other people are hearing.

Being aware that some people might take that testimonial bridge building sales approach as a lot of horn blowing, it becomes more important to rethink exactly how it is presented.  I think that its doubly important to frame as much of the wording as possible to talk about their issues, concerns, problems, obstacles and eventually – happy solution and keep the “what we did”part to a bare minimum.

With that thinking in mind, I just reread a few published testimonials from different sites and since I understand that some people will take it to be a lot of chest thumping, think there might be a lot to be said for re-thinking just how we present testimonials – not only on a hard copy, but even more importantly in our early, rapport building sales dialogue and the voicemails and emails we’re leaving to get the appointments in the first place.

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