You're looking for a new restaurant to try. You ask a friend and she says “I just love this new Italian place on 5th Avenue. It's got all my favorites. " She tell you the name of the place and gives a hearty endorsement. That's a pretty good testimonial.
But there's ANOTHER kind of testimonial, too. Superstar sales coach Jeffrey Gitomer calls it a “reverse" testimonial.
You're looking for a new restaurant to try. You ask a friend and he says “Anywhere but that new Chinese place on 3rd Avenue. YUCK! It's HORRIBLE!" He then tells you about how unsanitary the place is, how bad the food was, and the rudeness of the wait staff. That's a reverse testimonial.
Any salesman worth their salt will offer you stories from satisfied customers. These testimonials sell the product better than anything the salesman could say because it's a third party endorsement. It's someone else's word about the power of the product or service and their level of satisfaction therewith.
Do you have testimonials? Not just for your product or service, but for YOU. As network marketing professionals, we need to be able to stand our in the crowd from every other rep in our company. The best way to do that is to create name recognition for yourself so that when someone says your name someone else says “I know them!" or better yet “I know them! They're the BEST!"
What are people saying about you? Do you get cards, letters and thank-you's from past hostesses, guests and customers? If you do, are you saving them? Consider putting together a little “brag book" of customer comments - include pictures if you can. If you've got a website, add these elements to your page. Heck, in this day and age adding video and audio to your site are inexpensive and deliver a powerful impact. You'd be amazed at how little positive comments not only boost yourself esteem, but your credibility in the business world.
What? You mean you DON'T have testimonials? Why not? Start asking for them!
An easy approach to take is to start with family/friends and ask them what some of your strengths are. Then build on that by approaching your best hostesses and customers and ask them why they do business with you. We've talked about getting feedback before, and I can't stress the importance enough. It's crucial to your success to know how you are perceived in the marketplace. Once you have feedback, ask your best customers and hostesses for written recommendations, or testimonials. Gitomer suggests that you video tape them when possible for maximum effectiveness.
If you're reluctant to ask for personal testimonials, you can ALWAYS ask for product testimonials. Ask your customers at each party to share what their favorite item is and why. Have THEM promote your products as much as possible during the party. When other guests hear glowing testimonials about your products from someone other than YOU, they are more likely to believe it - especially if it is one of their close friends making the recommendation.
If it's your very first party and you know absolutely no one, draw on product testimonials from your training group or product manual. I've talked about keeping a list of those kinds of things handy, and then memorizing a few key testimonials about your top sellers. Being able to tell your customers why other people (like THEM) are buying your products will help your customers not only relate to your product, but also help convince them that you are there to help them make an affirmative buying decision that is in their best interests.
If you're getting REVERSE testimonials, you need serious help - and FAST. Start by being more friendly. It sounds trite, but it's true: people don't care what you know until they know that you care - about THEM.
Tired of trading hours for money, Lisa Young gave up her 8 to 5 for a direct sales career that now spans over 11 years. Lisa's blog, Real Life Marketing, reveals the realities of what it takes to be successful in the eyes of your customer, using real-life examples you can learn from today. You can visit Real Life Marketing at http://lisamrobbin.blogspot.com
Unlike other industry writers, who left direct sales to pursue speaking careers, Lisa is still in the trenches, running her direct sales business and leading her teams to success. Her book, Home Party Solution is a step-by-step method to harness the internet to boost bookings, sales and recruits. Read the first chapter free and subscribe to the weekly business boosting e-zine, “PartyOn!" at http://www.homepartysolution.com