Who's Singing Your Praises?

Here's an idea that costs almost nothing and can help you gain more new customers. Consider adding the use of testimonials as a way to enhance your advertising message.

As many of you know, it's frustrating to have products and services that are the best but not enough new people or companies are finding out about them. It adds to the frustration when you know that although your customers are very happy, they are not telling others.

It's not wise to rely on the hope that your customers will tell others about your business. Testimonials can be a great way for your current customers to introduce your company to potential customers. Testimonials are also a good reminder to customers who haven't done business with you for some time, that they are missing out when they see how satisfied your present customers are with your business.

It's amazing how effective a testimonial can be in creating customers from prospects. (I wish I could use testimonials more to promote my consulting business, but the confidential nature of some of what I do limits the opportunity.) Potential customers are simply more likely to be moved into renting or buying from a company if they view the source of the positive information about your company as honest and objective.

Here are some other ideas dealing with the subject:

  • Build more business relationships. Try to do business with those who are helping your business. My accountant has a display for my customer service books (and order forms) on the counter in his reception area. You can bet that I help him to promote his business whenever I have an opportunity.
  • Actively seek referrals and testimonials. Don't wait for unsolicited testimonials, and don't be shy about asking very enthusiastic, very happy customers to help you promote your business in this way.
  • Seek written testimonials as well as written permission to use the quote and the name of the person (and company) who wrote it. It's their endorsement of your products and services as well as the quality of your service.
  • Finally, try not to be one of those who mistakenly believe that almost everyone must be aware of your business, what your products and services are, and how well you do what you do. The fact is that many of those who could become customers of yours are unfamiliar with your business and are certainly unaware of the quality of your service.

On a positive note, most rental businesses (and suppliers to the rental industry) don't do an effective job of encouraging more business through testimonials. So, your business can really stand out from the crowd of competitors.

Dick Detmer is a nationally recognized consultant, lecturer and writer and has 35 years of experience in the equipment rental industry. He is the author of "The Guide to Great Customer Service" as well as "A Practical Guide to Working in an Equipment Business." For consulting, on-site employee training or to order books, visit www.detmerconsulting.com. Dick can be contacted at dick@detmerconsulting.com or (309) 781-3451.

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