Don't Squander Your Testimonials
Print customer testimonials are valuable. I sure hope most print reps actively ask for them. Maybe this post will convince the naysayers.
Third-party recommendations are more persuasive than anything you could say about yourself. Think about how you feel about a press release that’s issued by the featured company or individual — of course it's a glowing review. That's the name of the PR game!
Recommendations by your customers can be sprinkled like fine sugar throughout your website. Visually, they must stand apart so they’re eye catching. If you can quote the person, that’s the best option. Some customers will permit this; others won’t. Be sure to ask.
Do you have a number of exceptional recommendations? Think about using them as the basis of a postcard or letter campaign. Imagine how different your sales letter could be if you featured one powerful client review instead of spewing the usual "blah blah blah," as my friend the late, great sales rep Steve Block wrote about.
Video testimonials are unusual for the print industry, but I love them. My hunch is that many customers in large companies can’t get corporate clearance to do a video on your behalf, but that shouldn’t prevent you from asking.
Now for my most important comment about testimonials: don’t leave the content up to your customer. If your habit is simply asking, “Would you give us a testimonial?,” you’re missing an opportunity.
You should be asking every customer to put into words what specific qualities or capabilities make your company different from others.
Yes, customers are working with other printers, not just your company. But they stick with you for one or two reasons. What are those reasons? What exactly makes them loyal to you?
Dig deep. Testimonials are great tools for you, but you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to ask for exactly what will benefit you the most.
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com