It’s pretty common knowledge that word of mouth is one of – if not, the – best ways to sell your products/services. In his book, Unleashing the Idea virus, Seth Godin talks about the power of other people – particularly, reputable people – praising you, rather than you doing it yourself. Sure, you can tell potential customers that you’re great, but that hardly holds any weight compared to someone else, especially if that someone else is considered trustworthy, saying the same thing.
No matter what product or service you’re promoting on your website, you need testimonials.
If you can present your case – i.e., speak about what your products/services are and how they can benefit your clients – and then have others confirm your worth, in their words, you’ll have a much better way of convincing your website visitors to hire you or buy your products.
Potential clients want to hear what you’ve done for your previous clients. They want to hear the success stories. These potential customers want to hear how your product/service helped others who were in a similar position to where they are now. If they can do this, without needing to phone each previous client for a reference, it’ll be much easier for them to be convinced that they should hire you or buy your products.
Testimonials work well if they are interspersed within your website’s main content and/or in a side panel, and/or on a separate testimonials (or, “What Our Customers Have to Say”) page. I recommend placing them in as many spots as possible, even if you need to repeat a few of them. The longer you’re in business, the more testimonials you’ll have, so needing to duplicate a few shouldn’t be a problem for long.
Some of you may be in certain types of businesses where posting your clients’ names on your website is a delicate issue (or unethical). Naturally, most people seeing a therapist, for example, don’t want the world to know that they’ve been seeking professional counselling. In this case, either use their initials (with permission), a pseudonym, or leave out the name and initials altogether. Your site visitors will understand and, unless your whole website looks like one giant scam, there’s no reason for them to doubt that your testimonials are legitimate.
So, don’t be afraid to harness the power of testimonials. Let your successes with previous clients work for you to bring in more of the ideal clients you’re looking for.