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Audrey Burton
Business Coach

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Article #49, September, 2006

Outrageous Testimonials Rule!

The other day I was giving a talk on sales, and a hypnotherapist asked me how to "convince" visitors to her website to trust her, and call her.

One way to do this is by having other people (3rd parties) tell the visitor how incredible she is. These statements are called testimonials, and are one of the most powerful components of an effective marketing message.

Thanks to technology, you can pepper your website with testimonials in
several formats:

  1. Written
  2. Audio
  3. Video

If you are not currently using testimonials, start with easy ones. Email your best clients and ask them to write a testimonial for you. This is often difficult for the client, as they don't always know how to put their feelings concisely into a powerful statement. They want to, but they need your guidance.

You can write it for them and ask them to simply edit it - most people really appreciate this as it saves them time. This is NOT the time to be shy or humble!! Write it from their perspective and really rave about how great you and your product are, and the dramatic results. Be shameless and outrageous!

The more outrageous you are, the more likely you are to provoke that critical emotional connection, causing the reader to connect with your message and make a purchase.

You can also give the client a list of questions to answer to help them create their own testimonial. Be very specific and benefits oriented. Remember the point of this work - to motivate a visitor to keep reading, to ask for more information from you, to make a purchase. The testimonial, while about the past client, really needs to address the wants and needs of the prospect!

Here's an example from an attendee of my most recent group program:

"I think you are great and really know your stuff! I also know that it's up to the person to take your information and do something with it! And you provide that information very personally, clearly, and motivationally!"

Heather Dubin, Certified Permanent Makeup Artist
Tarzana , CA

Audio and video clips from your clients can also really speed up the relationship-building process. They are a little more technically challenging, but most web developers can easily do this for you.

You can put written testimonials in your written content on your site, as well as grouped together on one page. You can put them on your home page, too, but if you plan to include audio and/or video testimonials, the home page is a fabulous place for those.

I also recommend putting the clients' pictures, full names and geographic locations with some of the better testimonials, so the visitor can really identify with them. Separating these from the rest of the text by putting them in a box draws more attention to them. You can see an example of this on my CD sales website - click on this link and scroll about halfway down the page.

I recently added two very lengthy testimonials to my main site as Case Studies. These statements give me the opportunity to showcase more about the process of what I do in greater detail, further deepening my relationships with my visitors. It also provides my clients the opportunity to expose their businesses in another location on the web.

As you can see, there are several options in using testimonials, but one thing on which all the marketing experts agree - testimonials are extremely effective!

Let me know if I can help you with yours.

Audrey Burton, Small Business Coach, is “The Tigress”. Get her FREE Special Report, “Closing the Sale is Not Complicated!” and her FREE monthly email newsletter at http://www.TigressCoaching.com.

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