When you visit online retail entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan’s kogan.com, two things happen.
Firstly, boxes start appearing in the bottom left-hand corner with the latest customer’s suburb and the name of the product they’ve just purchased. Given Kogan’s sales volumes, the minute one box fades away, another appears in its place with the next customer’s suburb and the product they’ve just bought. If you’re so inclined, you can also click on the product to be taken straight to its sales page.
Secondly, the screen darkens and a white box pops up suggesting that you should ‘like’ the Kogan Facebook page to get access to their exclusive Facebook offers and promotions. It also tells you that more than 450,000 other people have already liked this page, giving you confidence that this is an established business with an existing tribe.
When a prospect has never bought from you before, they’re often hesitant about making that first purchase decision. If they don’t know exactly what will happen on the other side of the purchase, they’ll often pause, reconsider, and perhaps even decide against buying your product, even if it’s the very thing they need. They’ll be asking themselves, “Is this the right purchase, the right business, and will you deliver on what you’ve promised?”
The most effective tool you can use in any sales process is social proof. Show the prospect that other people have already made this decision and are glad they did.
Whether it be face-to-face, over the phone or online, showcasing success stories from those who have already bought from you and loved the experience, will provide your prospect with the social proof they need to make a confident buying decision.
Kogan also has a ‘Reviews’ page on his website, featuring a variety of positive media articles about his products and businesses. For instance, in one review, The Daily Telegraph says, "A giant screen seems like a luxury until you try one. By then you'll be convinced it's one of life's essentials.”
When people have had a great experience with your brand, they are often more than happy to provide you with a testimonial outlining the benefits of your brand/product. These will usually be in the form of a written case study or a quick video from the customer on their experience. Often a combination of the two works best to cater for different communication preferences.
Like everything in business, however, there is a right way and a wrong way to get great testimonials. For maximum impact, make sure yours meet the following criteria:
Three steps to impactful testimonials
1. The ‘before shot’: This is where the customer outlines what their situation was like before they bought your product; what their challenge was and what their frustrations were. For example, ‘A giant screen used to seem like a luxury’.
2. Something changed: There was a moment when they bought a product, or got started in a program, or met a person that changed that situation and enabled them to find a solution to their problem. For example, ‘I tried the even bigger screen’.
3. The ‘after shot’: This is what they’ve achieved since they got started. If it’s an individual product, it may just be a simple explanation of what it does for them and how easy it is to use. If you’re an accountant or a personal trainer, you want them to be very specific about what they achieved and in what timeline. To get specific, use numbers, percentages and milestones reached. For example, ‘I’ve become so acquainted with my new screen that it’s now one of my life’s essentials’.
Once you’ve acquired your testimonials, they should be scattered throughout your promotional mediums in both written and video form; on your website, your sales pages, in your videos, in your brochures and sales collateral.
As human beings, our instinct to follow the tribe is still very strong, especially when we’re hesitant and afraid of making the wrong decision. Getting impactful testimonials and having them strategically placed throughout your sales and marketing material will enable a much smoother conversation or transaction when it comes time for the person to purchase.
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This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Jack Delosa, Executive Director at The Entourage
Jack Delosa is a Gen Y entrepreneur and investor and was recently described by Sunrise as “The Young Aussie Millionaire That Didn’t Finish Uni.”
Jack has been named in Australia's top 10 entrepreneurs under 30. From having his company listed in the Fastest 50 Start-Ups in Australia, to acquiring businesses with his panel of investors and helping his clients raise over $10 million, Delosa is a leader for future and existing entrepreneurs.