Hi. Jeremiah here, with a simple question to kick off this Sunday post.
How much more do you think you would you make if you had 2… 3… or even 400 positive customer testimonials propping up your sales process?
Obviously more bling, right? But how much more? That’s what I’m itching to figure out…
Because if we knew that, then we could re-invest some of our extra revenues in advertising, to create even more demand…
… And with all our new social credibility in place, THAT would make it even easier to raise our prices… and improve conversion rates… driving even MORE revenue to the bottom line.
It’s a simple, cause-and-effect equation, and all we want to do is crank up the dials to 11 and start enjoying dramatically improved results, right!
So that’s exactly what this post is going to show you how to do.
And – almost more importantly – I’m going to show you how to do all this in an automated way, so you can be sure you collect at least a hundred positive reviews… over the next 12 months… even if you’re just starting out.
To begin, let’s look at an interesting little factoid I picked up from my work in the hospitality industry; this will give our conversation a nice baseline.
In one study, by Cornell, they looked at all the properties across the Accor hotel brand and found: “a one-point increase in reputation (based on a five-point scale) may result in a hotel’s ability to raise room rates up to 11.2%.”
Not bad for an extra little gold star, right?
That can easily translate to an extra $100k in top-line revenue every month for these hotels.
Not bad at all…
But what about MY industry, right?
I promise I’ll answer that question in just a few minutes…
… But first, we need to recognize that: how much you add to the bottom line is directly related to how many positive reviews you have.
This is especially important if your reviews show up on 3rd party websites like Yelp!, or TripAdvisor, for example…
Because in these cases, a business that gets 50 average reviews, is going to need another 50 excellent reviews to arrive at a solid 4-star rating.
It all comes down to mathematics.
And that means: over time it gets harder and harder to move your average score.
So businesses really have to ‘go on the charm offensive’ for 3 or 4 months if they have ANY hope of moving the needle.
That’s the hard way.
Now let’s talk about the automated, easy way…
Let’s use automation to generate more testimonials for your business on a consistent basis, so even if you’re selling a really niche product…
… And you only have a few competitors…
… The sheer volume of positive reviews on your side will still be enough to sway a good portion of the market in your direction.
The first step to do this is to go to Google Forms, and put together a picture-based survey; which you’ll later link to from your website, through social media and, of course, in your emails.
Then we need to think about our messaging and recognize that people need a real reason to do anything. We can’t expect to get good testimonials if we just ask, ask, ask… like one of those guys outside Walmart hitting on people for signatures.
That’s not just a TERRIBLE look, it’s absolutely ineffective.
So you need to lay out a compelling reason for people to give you their testimonials in two steps.
The first step is to share something useful, right up front; just for visiting your survey.
This could be a value-added service… a free margarita… or whatever; just something to engender a little goodwill before asking for anything.
Here’s some copy you could swipe for that:
Thanks for taking a second to check this out. Here, make sure to grab [This Freebie], as my way of saying ‘thanks’, just for stopping by.
Then you’re going to want to tell people about the special social status they’ll achieve for filling out your form and hitting ‘send’.
Note: This step plays ‘double duty’ by highlighting how important each person’s testimonial is… and getting tacit approval for including these testimonials in your marketing. So, make sure and get it right.
Here’s a template for how you can put these steps together:
Dear [social signifier],
As you may or may not know, [our business has reached some milestone].
This is a major accomplishment.
Especially since, for many of us, we never even knew we could [enjoy the big benefits of the program], until [The program’s name] [helped us set up the mechanism of success].
To celebrate this fact, I wanted to ask if you could share one or two of your stories of ‘what it’s like to be on the inside’, so we can do an even better job of getting the word out… and helping more people just like you and me.
For example, what could you tell us about your experience of [working with our program] as a way of saying, “Come on in, the water’s fine!”
Could you tell us about a time that you got a big idea during [one of our sessions]?
Did the [program deliverable] get your profits up and running in record time?
Was it [some feeling] of helping others [achieve some goal]?
Or was it because [one of our team members] [took a specific action], so you could start enjoying [some big benefit to move towards]?
Whatever it was, we’d love to feature your story, so lay it down with all the blow-by-blow details you can think of, and we’ll feature your smiling face right up there on [the place you keep your testimonials], next week.
If you’d like to see an example of how I did this for one hotel, just follow this link.
So that was step 1 in the automation equation. And now for step 2 …
How to make your testimonials so seductively sweet it’s almost impossible for people to stop reading…
You want folks gobbling up one testimonial after another… feeling their pulse quicken… and knowing, “I want those results, too!”
You do this by making sure each of your testimonials has one special quality; a quality that 99% of testimonials are absolutely lacking.
Why is that?
It’s because most people think that if they say your product or service was “Great. Great. Great.”, then other people will think it’s great, too. I guess they’ve never tried to get their kids to eat something new…
Thankfully, you know better. You know that if you want a dramatic lift in your revenues, you need testimonials that ‘show, not tell’.
Testimonials that demonstrate the benefits of your products and services…
… With drama… with stories that people can personally relate to… with stunning results that are so tempting… and so believable… that people can’t help but buy.
This is something I call: transformational testimonials.
And the best example of these come from the weight loss niche.
You know. It’s that classic juxtaposed before and after shot.
The ones our minds can’t help but instantly compare… and instantly jump to one distinct conclusion. Wow! (What an amazing transformation. And I want that, too.)
Do you see why these before and after stories are some of the highest caliber ‘artillery shells’ in your entire marketing arsenal?
And why, if you’re not doing everything you can to launch these bad boys at your target market (and automating the process, so you can start enjoying predictable results, ASAP), then you’re really missing out?
Because the fact is: just like high-powered explosives, you only have to land ONE of these in your target market to be wildly successful.
Case in point: Subway’s Jared (before the scandal).
From 1998 to 2011 Subway attributed one third to one half of its growth in sales to Jared’s story, tripling their revenues.
Again – all from just one story.
That’s what I mean by quality testimonials; quality you can take to the bank!
That’s what we all want, isn’t it?
So, in step 2 of our testimonial gathering process, it’s essential for you to follow up and get a little backstory from everyone who filled out your survey form.
Do that by sending a little note like this:
Thanks, (first name),
I enjoyed your story; especially the part where you [describe the most impressive thing in their story]. And that got me wondering: what was life like before you had this break-through?
Would you mind sharing that with our ‘studio audience’, as well?
And with that, you’re going to be able to infuse the before and after story into each and every one of your testimonials…
… So you can start appealing to your target audience on a deeper, more results oriented level… and subtly communicate the biggest, most persuasive message of all – that infectious idea that “if it worked for someone just like me, then maybe it will work for me, too…”
And once you sink that hook – you’ve got ‘em!
Then all you’ve got to do is treat ‘em well… help them actually achieve the transformation they’re looking for… and you’ll keep the testimonial ‘gravy train’ chuggin’ along for years to come.
So it’s finally time to answer that ‘be-all, end-all’ question from earlier on:
Exactly how much can a handful of ‘transformational testimonials’ add to MY bottom line?
To find that out, we’re going to need to carefully transfer our testimonial ‘munitions’ off the assembly line and into our autoresponder sequence.
Do this by simply pulling up a few of the EMAIL ALCHEMY templates from the ‘Liaison Series’ and start weaving your testimonial stories throughout.
That’s how you create an even more energetic conversation around your transformational products and services… and a dramatic lift in results.
To measure those results, all you have to do is run a split test between your old sequence, and the new, socially verified you… count the dollar difference and, voila!
Now you know exactly how much a few good testimonials can add to your bottom line.
Now what about a hundred? How much would THAT add to your bottom line?
That’s the question I’m challenging you with over the next 365 days.
Because, after witnessing a solid jump in earnings from adding just a few expertly engineered testimonials into your sales sequence – WHY WOULDN’T YOU GO FOR GUSTO?!
As I said earlier, arming your business with 2… 3… 400 transformational testimonials is one of the surest ways I can think of to bring more and more people into your business… and skyrocket revenues…
So let’s automate that process.
Let’s crank that automated testimonial generating machine up to 11… and never look back.