Three Ways to Increase Your Client Testimonials
In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, world renowned psychology and marketing professor, Robert Cialdini, teaches us the 6 principles we can use to influence people to take action...how to get them to say yes.
One of the six that he identifies in the book is social proof.
Robert Cialdini, maintains that a person who does not know what the proper behavior for a certain situation is, will look to other people to imitate what they are doing and to provide guidance for his actions.
In other words, social proof is one way for us to identify what is correct through reference to what other people think is correct, especially during times of crises when we don’t have time to think and have to make a decision right away.
Now, to this day, I still can’t figure out why someone I’m talking to would take the word of someone they don’t know over mine as a means of making a decision to work with me.
But it’s a scientifically proven fact and one that we have to honor if we’re going to grow our business exponentially.
You need testimonials as often as you can get them and these testimonials need to be put anywhere your prospects and clients can see them in order to have legitimate impact.
Here are three ways you can increase your client testimonials starting today:
1. Create a system to capture them. Testimonials are easy to collect if you put a system in place to secure them from your clients. The best time to collect them is either right before, during or after closing.
In most cases, your clients are the most happy and excited they’ve been about working with you. Plus, you have a captive audience that’s going to be in the same spot for a couple of hours.
Testimonials carry the most weight when the following elements are present:
- Picture of you and your clients together. You want prospects to see you and your brand together for maximum recognition. Plus, people will take more seriously what’s said in the testimonial if they see a picture of the people who are giving it.
- Your company name and/or URL in the picture. It’s likely that your testimonial will be seen in digital format. A lot of agents I coach put their URL on a sign rider or use the panel from their yard sign in every picture that they use in a testimonial.
- Tell a good story. In your testimonials, make sure that people can see what the problem was that needed to be solved, why your clients chose you to solve the problem and how you solved it. It connects the dots for the reader and makes it easier for them to see why they would choose you themselves.
- Give details. Not only should you be specific about how you solved the problem, but also be sure to give first and last names as well as location. Testimonials that end with “Bob W.” and nothing else tend not to have a lot of credibility.
- Write it yourself. When you seek testimonials from your clients, ask them if it’s okay if you put something down on paper and send it to them for their okay. This not only gets the job done right, but it also ensures it gets done period.
If you have the ability to assign this job to someone else, do it. Delegate the task and make sure it’s put in the calendar along with the other aspects of your closing plan.
Even if you don’t have someone to assign the task to, make sure you schedule it so it gets done.
2. Conduct a small contest. People love to be rewarded for taking action.
Take the time to run a quarterly, semi-annual or annual contest where you give people the opportunity to win something of value for providing you with a written testimonial or a review on any and all social media platforms - real estate related or otherwise.
You can combine this effort with your ongoing contact strategy with your past clients and sphere.
As you make your regular calls to strengthen your relationship with the people that know you and seek referral business, you can let them know about the contest, how to participate and what they can win.
You can also do it via emails and posts on social media.
Also, if you have semi-annual or annual event, running a contest at the event for testimonials, pictures and reviews is a great way to make the event even better.
Plus, since you have a lot of people in once place at the same time, you have a captive audience, once again where you can make some great headway in securing high-quality testimonials from the people that know you.
3. Start by just asking for them. All of this advice is well and good as long as you’re asking for testimonials. Unfortunately, none of what I”ve shared here makes any sense if you don’t specifically ask for them.
When you ask for testimonials, you’re not only getting great feedback on what works, you’re also getting input on what doesn’t work.
Businesses that don’t collect testimonials not only miss out on marketing material, they miss out on constructive feedback, and reinforcing their customers’ memory of (and likelihood to recommend) your business.
No matter what feedback you get - positive or negative - you’ll benefit from what your clients share with you.
In fact, it can likely get to the point where the majority of the feedback you get will be positive and something you can use to generate more good will in your marketplace.
Testimonials are a key ingredient to building a solid brand in your market. They’re also vital if you want to influence your prospects to want to choose you over your competition.
Take the initiative to start asking for more testimonials and then take the initiative to put a plan in place to get as many as you can.