How to Persuade Prospects with Testimonials

By Brigitte Piip

Posted in Sales Tips

Persuading Prospects with Testimonials

Asking for testimonials can feel awkward at first. After all, we've all seen those annoying pop-up windows that ask you to review something you haven't even tried yet. People are naturally skeptical, some more so than others. So should you avoid asking for testimonials altogether?

Definitely not. Testimonials are an extremely powerful way to get more business. You just have to ask for them the right way.

The difference between annoying a customer and receiving a well-deserved testimonial is trust.

Trust is hard to earn. All of us have had times where we haven't fully trusted a friend or colleague. Now compare that feeling to how your prospect must feel right after they buy from you. situation to how your prospect feels talking to a random salesperson. You have no immediate authority when it comes to your prospects.

That's why you should always have testimonials in your back pocket. But you don’t always have to bring them up yourself.

Let them ask to be convinced

Don't have them in your sales pitch right away, you want to keep that short and personal so to keep their interest. Plus, bringing them all up without being asked might make it look like your product isn’t good enough that you absolutely have to prove that it works.

Let them ask for proof. You get a definite confirmation that they're interested, they just need a tiny bit more convincing. You already have them in your hand and all you need is to just bring up the testimonials and they’re yours.

Testimonials create a “group” they’ll want to be part of

A group of happy people whose life your product has made much easier. People like belonging to groups. We were created sociable but also narcissistic - being a part of a certain group feeds both of these aspects when done right. Make it sound like people using your product are superior to others –  they have it better, they’re much happier, they have more time.  And just by purchasing your product your prospect will instantly be one of those joyous people.

Asking an influential character (a company, celebrity) for a review will add even more weight to the group. People want to be like their role models. They used to adore the character from afar but now you’re giving them a chance to be just like them and they’ll take it.

When we're not sure, the first thing we ask ourselves is "How would my brother/ sister/ friend/ act in my situation?"  – Whether we like it or not, we seek acceptance and admiration from others. It's so much easier to relate to human appraisals than impersonal reports and their plain facts. Yes, it worked in a science experiment, but will it work in my everyday life? When there's a handful of people saying that your product worked wonderfully for them, why wouldn't it work for them? Of course it would!

Everyone wants to be in the group of people whose life is easier and more convenient - one more problem solved, just by purchasing a product.

Now refer to the group they currently belong to

Create another group your prospects can easily relate to. A group where all they have in common is a problem – the one that your product solves. You're selling a superhero! It eliminates the enemy and makes them a part of the dream group they want to belong to. Are you selling vacuum cleaners? Everyone’s worst enemies are dirtiness and sucky vacuums that won't suck. Are you selling software that helps people be more productive? We all hate having no time because we have to spend it on activities we don’t particularly enjoy.

Your prospects will understand the mediocrity of this group instantly, without any negative word ever being used and they won’t want to stay in that group.

Naturally, you want to very subtle with creating those groups. Never be explicit about grouping: people don’t like being categorized like things; but deep, deep down everyone still wants to be part of the ‘cool kids.’ Help them belong by having testimonials from people they can and want to relate to. They won't just be buying a product, they'll also be buying a sense of belonging – you want to frame it like you're doing them a favor by presenting that opportunity.

Next step: asking the current customer for a review to complete the circle and convince more prospects.

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