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Five Ways to Use Testimonials to Generate Leads

October 2, 2013

Testimonials from your clients (or partners) are traditionally used in the sales process to help a prospect develop trust. Trust that you or your product does what you say it does. What many businesses miss however, is the opportunity to use their customer testimonials to generate new inquiries and leads.

Here are five mini-marketing recipes that you use to get more leverage and customer insight from all those nice things your customers say about you:

1: Use the testimonial in a blog post

This is an easy one.  Create a blog post that is about your customer’s story.  What was their problem. Why did they buy from you. And then in their words, what was the experience like and the result received. If your client already gave you the permission to use their name and company in a testimonial, there should not be an issue telling their story in a blog post.  Blog posts drive top of the funnel (straw) traffic, and if the first thing visitors are reading about is how great you are at solving a problem, and those words are from a customer, you stand a good chance of getting them to engage further on having their problem solved.

2: Make your direct marketing & advertising more credible by including a testimonial quote

When someone receives an email or direct mail piece from you and one of the first sentences is a customer quote, your piece gets more credible immediately.  Same with a print or broadcast advertisement. There is a reason that you see so many testimonial ads – they work. As a consumer, we don’t want to be the first to purchase or reply to an offer, so seeing that someone else has had success with you allows your prospect to mentally move down their checklist of comparisons and options.

3: Create a public relations activity based on the testimonial

Depending on the client, the success and their willingness to collaborate, you can do a range of public relations activity with a client testimonial. For those that don’t really want to do more than give you the story, you can publish a press release that directs those interested to download a pdf version from your website.  For client who are looking for more publicity, you can pitch the success story to a local or industry publication and work for a feature story. If you go this route, just be sure you have hard numbers and facts that back up the success, and of course, tie it to an angle that is important to the publications readership.

4: Get the testimonial as a video, and leverage YouTube

Rather than going the written word route, get a video testimonial.  It doesn’t have to have huge production values – just good words.  You can see an example of one of ours below.

Then tag the video like crazy.  Get the customer and location in the tags; the problem you solved; the name of your company and product/service.  You can even get the video transcribed and put the entire transcription in as a tag.  YouTube is the second most popular site on the web and results show up in Google searches.  This gets you great leverage.  Just be sure to add a call to action to the video for a next step to get the prospect engaged with you.

5: Get the testimonial to speak for you on review sites and social sites

Which review sites your prospective customers use?  Whether its Angie’s List, Yelp, Manta or some other, make sure you are getting your customers to speak for you. Yes, you can ask the customer to put a review in directly (and you should), but be sure you include some testimonial quotes in the profile information you are allows to provide.  The same holds true for social sites like LinkedIN and Facebook.  Make sure you get those quotes in there as well.

Your customer’s words should be a key part of both marketing and sales activities. Yes, they help build credibility during sales, but used correctly, the testimonial is an integral part of gaining insight on your customers and making your lead generation more effective.  If you want to talk about creating an effective business development recipe with your customer’s words (or any other part of your business development), give us a ring.  And if you aren’t sure how to create great testimonials to start with, download our free guide from the button below.







Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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