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Testimonials – Yin and Yang (Part 2)

On the topic of testimonials, I want to share this recent example with you. I'm not doing this toot the gravitational horn - I'm doing this as an example of what you should look for in great testimonials. Quite simply, specificity. My favorite is specific results: 10x increase, 8 new clients, $14,000 in additional revenue, 67% fewer complaints, %95 fewer returns, 99% uptime, average wait time was 45 seconds, 27% less than the competition. What are the results of your service? Can you find people to tell you specific stories about their results? You see they're believable. Broad claims like: lost weight, increased business, higher profit, etc. are not believable. And they don't get attention. Another kind of specificity is in describing the story with detail. If I tell you a story about something that happened in the past, and I gloss over the details and cut right to the point or the punchline, it will have minimal impact. "Perfection is in the details," said Da Vinci. When you listen to a great comedian, the stories he tells are long and detailed - you get a vivid picture in your mind. That makes the punchline even better. When you see a magician do her tricks, she doesn't just make the rabbit appear or the Empire State Building disappear. She builds up to it with a lot of showmanship and story telling. That's where the true excitement it. Great story telling in testimonials is just as powerful. When you read this recent story sent to us, you will know truly that is is 100% authentic. It will have impact. Perhaps it will remind you of yourself.  
Jim and Travis, Thank you for giving me inspiration and encouragement in marketing my businesses. I'm in a rural area, and many of my family members don't consider working for oneself a "real job". If they only knew how much MORE work it is to be self-employed. If they knew my private goals, they'd probably freak out. Many people are stuck in the "steady job" rut, and don't have the passion to climb out of it. You have no idea how much your teleconferences, articles, and innovative thinking has encouraged me to move forward and believe more in what I'm doing. I was raised by my parents to be an entrepreneur (they both were, as well), and although I've held several jobs successfully (for that "steady" paycheck), deep down it was unsatisfying, especially when I worked for (in several instances) micromanagers who knew next to nothing about how to manage self-starter ambitious types of employees. I've had ideas shot down, because "We've never done it that way, and THIS is how we do it" and even had my work sabotaged by jealous co-workers who didn't want to be outshone. I was just fed up! I left my last radio station (I've worked for about 10 of them, as well as TV and newspaper doing everything from on-air to marketing for 27 years) determined to make a difference, not just a paycheck. Since I became involved with Gravitational Marketing, it's renewed the initial goals, and helped to spur me on to, I believe, greater things. In addition to Meander Magazine, I just launched Meander Radio on December 2nd, also. Right now, time is a most precious commodity, but there is no lack of motivational energy, thanks to you guys. You defy gravity, alright, as well as the dream-killers. Thank you! God bless your endeavors, you, and yours. Warm regards, Dianne James, Owner Meander Magazine & Meander Radio
Well... First of all, let me tell Dianne, who I am certain is reading this right now, thank you so much for your embarrassingly kind words. I sincerely value stories like these more than any dollar amount I take home. You may not be able to deposit information like this in the bank, but you can certainly deposit it in your heart, and for me that means more. And congratulations on the new radio endeavor!! you see what I mean? Isn't that powerful? So you ask, how do I get testimonials like this? The easiest and quickest way is to write them yourself and have your clients sign them. Of course, you must be 100% honest, but you can structure the information in the proper way. They don't come with the same emotional impact for you, but you can guarantee they have the necessary sales impact. Another way is to frequently share your testimonials with your clients. When they see other people's stories, they will be more likely share their own - and if you highlight the best stories, the will automatically model their own story after those you've shared. Make sense? For instance, if you send a newsletter to your clients, be sure to include social proof every time, so they get used to seeing the information. Of course, you need to make it stupidly simple for people to give you testimonials. If there's any resistance, it probably won't happen. Consider having a link on your web site for people to share their stories.