Customer Testimonials Set Your Business Apart

Last week Fire Enterprises (FEI) Sales Tribe Leader Zoot wrapped up a series of discussions with sales apprentice Helios on the four attributes salespeople need to succeed. This week, Marka teaches rookie customer-service rep Aetius the value of customer testimonials. Remember, fire = print.

One afternoon Marka walked by Aetius’s desk as he was talking with a customer on the O-phone.

“Oh, that’s great to hear! Thanks for your call!” Aeitus hung up and noticed Marka.

“Who was that?” Marka asked.

“One of our customers—Flora from Flora’s Flowers. For the past year they’ve used FEI fire to heat their greenhouses. Our fire is so strong and consistent that they now grow flowers that are on average 20 percent larger—which means, of course, that they can sell ‘em for much more!”

Marka was pleased to hear about this positive customer experience. “Did you write down what she said?” Marka asked.

Aetius looked at her blankly, blinking his eyes slowly.

Marka let out the faintest of sighs and asked, “Why don’t you call Flora back and ask for a brief testimonial? She can repeat what she just said, or she can write up her thoughts and O-mail them to us.”

“Why?” Aeitus asked. “Flora’s just one customer—will any of our prospects actually care about her experience?”

“Of course!” Marka exclaimed, a little frustrated that Aeitus was missing the point. FEI’s success derives from our ability to say what we do and do what we say. Every day, our sales, marketing, and customer service departments do a pretty good job at telling prospects and customers what we do. Proof points such as testimonials are valuable because they allow us to show that FEI’s fire solutions actually do what we say they do.”

“What are some other examples of proof points?” Aeitus asked.

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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