Yes, we're focusing on marketing again.
You see, several of my new clients have come out of winter with empty sales funnels. So, my mind has been focused on marketing construction services. Since marketing is almost always topical for contractors, here we go again.
Defective marketing systems cause empty sales funnels. Fix the marketing, fix the sales lead problem. The surest way to fix a broken marketing system is to collect an abundance of powerful testimonials.
If you are like most people, you are reluctant to ask your clients for testimonials. You probably feel like you would be asking for some huge, monstrous favor.
There's really no need to feel that way.
They hired you. That was the hard part. Giving a testimonial is easy in comparison.
Now it's true that some of your customers will be uncomfortable giving you a testimonial. Some are naturally very shy while others are unwilling to lend their personal credibility to someone else.
But in general, you will find that most of your customers will be happy to give you a testimonial - if you write it for them!
Here's what you need to do to build an arsenal of powerful testimonials:
- Be aggressive. Go for testimonials as hard as you go for sales.
- He who hesitates is dead. Go for the testimonial as soon as possible. The euphoria your service created in your customer's heart wears off quickly. The longer you wait, the less enthusiastic will the testimony be.
- Ask if they were pleased with your service. "Were you happy with my services? What aspect did you like best?"
- Ask for the testimonial. "Would you be willing to give me a testimonial I can use to promote my business?"
- Have your customer refer to struggles they were suffering previous to your company riding in to the rescue.
- Offer to write the testimonial for them. Suggest a few ideas. Get their approval on the general subject. Go write the testimonial and send it back to them. Follow-up within two days.
- Frame their testimonial to promote a specific benefit of your service. Each testimonial should be crafted to address a specific problem or concern. For example, if your customers value prompt service, make sure you have a testimonial bragging about your company's promptness. Same for quality, communication, flexibility, reliability, budget assistance, etc. Don't collect generic "they were great" testimonials. They are useless.
- Ask your customers how they wish to be identified. By first and last name? By first name and last initial? Anonymously? With or without their company name?
- After your customer approves the written testimonial, try to talk him or her into recording an audio version.
- Thank them graciously with a card or small token of your appreciation.
- Take a picture of your client. Pictures lend credibility to testimonials. The reader is less likely to think you fabricated the testimonial. Audio testimonials are even better driving credibility but their use is limited to web sites and radio advertisements.
To see an example of how testimonials can amp up advertising copy, visit www.instantaudio.com.
Something to think about. If you make a claim, the claim is hollow. If your customer makes the claim, the claim is gospel.
Side Note. For those skeptical readers who just checked my website to see if I practice what I preach, my webmaster hasn't yet uploaded the new home page that is packed with great testimonials. Webmasters can be so frustrating some times!
Now, get back to work and go make some money!
Ron Roberts, The Contractor's Business Coach, teaches contractors how to turn their business into a profit spewing machine. To receive Ron's FREE Contractor Best Practices Newsletter visit www.FilthyRichContractor.com.