One of the most effective but seldom used ways to increase your bottom line is with the use of endorsements. By having a respected person or organization, endorse your product or service, you can add tremendous force and credibility to your sales message.
Here is a three step process to get you started in getting endorsements:
1. Write down the names of individuals, organizations, or groups that command respect and influence among people in your core market. The individuals don’t have to be celebrities, but they must be immediately recognizable, and they must be perceived as having integrity.
2. Then, approach the individuals, organizations, or groups directly or through their contact person, and ask them to endorse your product or service. If they want to be paid, offer them a fee, a share of the gross or net sales, or a certain amount per order placed or lead generated. The fact that they accept compensation won’t compromise the integrity or credibility of what they say. (Many times the person who endorses your product or service will ask that their payment go directly to a charity. )
3. Once an agreement has been reached, ask your endorser to make the most compelling, powerful, and specific claim they can possibly make for you and your organization. You don’t want a general or hollow statement, such as “I highly recommend ABC Company. ” You want them to say something like, “In just 30 days ABC Company showed me how to boost my sales by 50%. And I’m sure they can do the same thing for you. ”
When you approach a prospective individual or organization about endorsing your product or service, be ready to prove your claims. If they don’t know you well and have never tried your product or service they will want some hard facts before agreeing to link their name and reputation to yours in an endorsement.
You will have to sell them on trying the relationship out with no risk on their part. For example you could offer to have them try a couple of small applications first, before you actually expand or roll out your campaign with them. They can see the impact for themselves first hand. They can see how happy people will be. They can watch the way your company performs. They can call your customers and get their feedback about your product or service.
You will have to prove through application that their personal credibility is not being compromised. Tell the endorser that only when they are comfortable, will you expand into the actual campaign. Taking the risk away from the endorser is a powerful way to get endorsement prospects to say “yes, I’ll give it a try. ”
It’s important to always highlight the benefit’s, the improved end result that people will derive by buying from you, or by coming to you for advice or treatment. Also, make sure that the endorsement ties directly into the desires, wants, needs, and interests of your target audience. For example, if you find out through your market research that 50% of your target market plays golf, it would be advantageous for you to find a respected golf pro, even a local golf pro, and have him or her appear on TV or sign letters, or even appear in advertisements with you.
You don’t want one of those slice-of-life testimonials, like a satisfied car buyer who appears for just an instant on TV. An endorsement is much more than a testimonial; it’s a loftier presence, a more powerful way of influencing people.
There are many different ways to use endorsements. Depending on the type of business that you’re in, you could have them sign a letter printed on their letterhead, but that you wrote. In other words, you simply write the letter on the endorser‘s letterhead, get them to sign it, and then you send it out to your prospects and customers.
Some other ways to effectively use endorsements are, have the person who is endorsing your product or service call people that they know. You could also run ads with their pictures in publications and do the same on your Web site. You could have them lend their names as author or co-author of a special report or publication that you send out to your industry. Or you could produce an informative and educational CD that features both you and the endorser giving valuable information for prospects and customers.
Because of the association with the endorser, you gain for yourself an elevated stature of credibility. Endorsements also give you great leverage. On your own all you have is your own capital. But with a well known and respected endorser you can tap into someone or some organization that has enjoyed prominence for years or even decades. By having them endorse your product or service you tap into their notoriety, distinction, and credibility.
With endorsements you can improve and increase your effectiveness and the impact of what you do dramatically. By putting in place multiple endorsements with all kinds of experts, personalities, and organizations of influence and respect you will greatly improve the results, effect, and impact you can have on your prospective business market.
Copyright© 2006 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. He is the founder and CEO of JLM & Associates, a consulting and training organization, specializing in personal and business development. Through his seminars and lectures, Joe Love addresses thousands of men and women each year, including the executives and staffs of many of America’s largest corporations, on the subjects of leadership, self-esteem, goals, achievement, and success psychology.
Reach Joe at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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