If you need evidence that a testimonial or referral can help you, let me tell you a personal story:
My friend Dave raved about his boss all the time. “She knows I’m still in school, ” he said, “so she always asks about my schedule. ”
“She’s really smart, too, ” he added. “The company wants to promote her, but she keeps telling them she really trained to teach. She’s just waiting for a job opening. ”
“Hey, ” I stopped him, “if she’s so great, why don’t you take her out?”
“Nah, ” he said. “She’s too old for me. ”
“So, how old is she?” I shot back. “30…40…more?”
“Nope…she’s 23. That’s about right for you. Want me to get you a date with her?”
Not wanting to appear desperate – which I was - I hesitated, then said, “I guess that’s OK. How about tomorrow?” Well, he set us up.
Did the date work out? I guess so. Twenty-plus years later we’re still happily married.
Bottom line: I’m amazed, bewildered, and confused that companies don’t use testimonials – or appropriate anecdotes – more often than they do.
I'm also surprised that when somebody sends me a resume', it sometimes leaves out a list of references.
Potential customers – or employers – want to know what you can do well. The endorsement of another person who knows and works with you can mean a lot.
Rix Quinn writes a weekly syndicated humor column, and serves as a writing consultant to schools, colleges, and business groups.
For more details on testimonials, see Chapter 3 of Rix's book “Words That Stick. ” It’s available from you local bookstore, or http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580085768/qid/