I think I’ve been a salesman most of my life. I started selling very early in my life and there aren’t too many days since that I haven’t been selling.
There are times I think I’m very good at selling. Over the years I’ve been paid very well to train others in my sales techniques, which by the way are available at www.kenvarga.com.
But I have a confession to make. I really detest selling. Or at least I detest everything about selling that “normal” salespeople do. I really hate prospecting. Prospecting sucks. And I hate trying to convince somebody to buy or do something they are skeptical about or resistant to. That really sucks.
So, when it comes to the way most business people sell their services and the way most salespeople sell their products, I’ve chosen not to participate and suggest you do the same and read further.
I prefer “the lazy salesman’s way to riches,” letting other people do all the heavy lifting, then you just accept the order.
In essence I’m saying, “give a testimonial for the use of testimonials.”
A testimonial is nothing more or less than somebody else doing the selling for you. Somebody else overcoming skepticism and creating a trust for you. Somebody else eliminating price resistance for you.
In spite of all the empirical evidence and overwhelming logic to it, the user testimonial is still one of the most under-used marketing tools on the earth.
Here’s the idea. What your customers say about you is 1,000% more persuasive than what you say about you, even if you are 1,000% more articulate and eloquent.
For that reason, nothing is more effective than testimonial driven and testimonial laden advertising, marketing or selling. Nothing. Not glitz or glamour, not slogans, nothing else.
This mandates acquiring good testimonials a top priority. How many do you need? As many as you can get. It also mandates using all you can get, every which way you can use them. To me, it is impossible to over-use testimonials.
What is a “good” testimonial?
First – sincerity. The person genuinely has a story to tell, is enthusiastic about his experience with you and is somebody other people will believe and identify with.
Second -specificity. He can’t just say “you are great”. A useful testimonial has specific, meaningful detail.
Third – drama. The best testimonials are verbal equals of dramatic before and after photos.
Fourth – in quantity, diversity. A collection of testimonials that cover different ages, genders, backgrounds, and experiences. Ideally, each testimonial counters a different objection or concern.
The ideal scenario has a sales message wholly supported by testimonials as proof of each separate claim, as well as the integrity of the message in its entirety and of the messenger.
The ideal sales message is actually a series of segues between testimonials because you should never say for yours what an enthusiastic customer is willing to say for you.
Also, in the ideal scenario, there is such an abundant, overwhelming quantity of quality testimonials, that the prospect simply cannot sustain any doubts. He should say to himself: “I’ll be the last lone fool on the planet not to get this if I don’t’ act now.”
If you are short on testimonials, you need to ask yourself why, then set about fixing your particular “why.” There is no other single thing related to your business you could work on offering a greater return on effort invested.
There are only two kinds of “resistance” in selling.”
One, what’s in the customer’s mind, and two, what’s in the salesperson’s mind. A man who sold his way from poverty to billionaire status, W. Clement Stone, said that “The sale is contingent upon the attitude of the salesperson, not the prospect.” He was talking about the second, most prevalent kind of sales resistance—what is IN the salesperson’s mind.
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