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Rabu, 20 Mei 2009

Building Sales by Building Credibility...

by Tommy Yan 
I was counseling with a client on building trust through his mailing. I suggested it's ten times more powerful to have his clients state his company's great assets rather than claiming it himself. It's just more believable.

When you're looking to buy on eBay, you'd want to check the seller's credentials. Does she have happy customers? Are there any complaints? What do they say about the way she conducts transactions?

It's the same if you're a consultant, speaker, or coach wanting to charge higher fees. Nobody will want to pay you more unless they know you have satisfied customers.

When a prospect scans your website, brochure, one-sheet, or direct mail campaign, there is one fail-safe method to establish instant rapport: testimonials.

Why should they believe what you state in your mailing? How do they know you're for real? Who else has done business with you? All of these are concerns your prospects have.

Your testimonials may mean the difference between more sales and leads, or them tossing out your message. That's why infomercials broadcast them every five minutes. Moneymaking websites usually have at least one page dedicated to them. And good sales letters include them in the mix.

Which is why you need them in your marketing: to build trust and credibility, to dispel customer fear and anxiety, and to make lots of money.

What to do first...

1. Ask your clients or customers who have benefited from your product or service to give you a brief testimonial. Usually they're more than happy to help. But if they're stubborn, you may want to offer an ethical bribe by saying, "I'll take 15% off your next order," or "I'll include your name in a drawing for my $500 workshop." And if they need help producing one, you can write one and have them approve it.

2. Make sure your testimonials are results oriented. Use specific numbers and amounts. For example, don't say, "I loved your tape album," or "Everyone thought you were a great speaker." These don't fly in this age of skepticism.

To increase trust use, "Your advice made me $40,000 in new sales the first month. We're on target to gross over one million dollars in sales this year. Thanks for your direction."

3. Use a real name and contact information from your client. Don't use initials. It just screams phony. Include a full name, title, brand name, company, city, state (and if applicable), a photo, and a website URL.

4. Include a good mix of clients. Depending on your target market, using high-profile individuals exclusively may not be totally necessary. A testimony from a work-at-home mom in Kansas can sometimes win more favor from prospects than a stuffed shirt CEO from New York.

5. And if you publish a website, a great credibility booster is using audio or video testimonials. Nothing is more powerful than actual clients edifying you or your products for the entire world to experience.

Testimonials are one of the least expensive, most productive tools to add into your marketing arsenal. But most entrepreneurs and business owners either forget or include ineffective, watered-down statements. Or sometimes they're too lengthy or even go overboard in their praise.

But not you...

Follow these steps today to gain credibility in a skeptical marketplace, lower your prospect's force field, and get ready for a dramatic increase in sales and leads.

Tommy Yan helps business owners and entrepreneurs make more money through direct response marketing. He publishes Tommy's Tease weekly e-zine to inspire people to succeed in business and personal growth. Get you free subscription today at


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