I just watched a tech documentary made from the TED conference in 2006, which doesn’t sound that long ago until you realize how long 4 years is in tech time. The idea of touch screen technology was a huge deal and going green still wasn’t main stream. Considering that the telephone was invented in the late 1800’s, we’ve come a long and the gap between the creation of technology and it’s adaptation by the mass consumer (early and late majority folks) has decreased considerably. I still remember when the Motorola StarTAC dropped around 1996 and everyone thought that thing was AMAZING. My entire town had no cell phone signal back then. Now a cell phone is much more than a phone, it’s a device that allows people to connect in more ways and more rapidly than ever before.
I was reading a blog post earlier today by Dan Patterson (here’s a link to his post) and he said something that stuck out to me:
“Look, I’m a strong believer that people – human beings – are inherently curious, inherently social, and inherently lazy. By that I mean that people want the path of least resistance between people, other people, and information.”
There is a lot of truth to that, and this is what technology is allowing us to. By default, we are reverting to the ways in which we most prefer to do things, word of mouth communication and socialization with people we like, know, and trust. It has just taken technology a while to catch up.
Now that technology HAS caught up and, in doing so, given a voice back to the people, it’s more important than ever to have good word of mouth. Enter my good friend, testimonials. I’ve talked with hundreds of business owners over the last 4 years and they all have one thing in common: their most consistently rewarding marketing is word of mouth, referral based marketing. The funny thing is, most of them have no idea how they did it, so they can’t replicate it!
Here’s a quote from Dan Kennedy, a very sharp marketing mind:
“What others say about you, your company, your products and your services is infinitely more credible than anything you can say on your own behalf. When you make a statement, it’s a claim. When your satisfied customer makes the same statement about you, that’s a fact.”
The collection of testimonials is one of THE most important things you can do to market your business, period. It’s been that way and it’s not going to change.
Think about buying habits online. People read reviews before going to restaurants, watching a movie, buying a book, buying a new phone; the list goes on and on. And they may be looking for a review on your business. Testimonials are the way to pre-sell your products and services before you even open your mouth. Now, with technology, your testimonials and what other people say about you is more important than ever.
Here are 5 ways to tap into this technology:
1. Use a Google Local Page and encourage reviews
2. Use a Linkedin Page and encourage people to “endorse” you
3. Use your Twitter account, not to sell, but to establish a community and be part of the community
4. Use your smart phone to capture testimonials on the spot. Most have voice and/or video recorders, just be sure to ask permission first. You can always transcribe the testimonial later.
5. Post testimonials to your site and refresh testimonials as you get more.