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Does your marketing survive the test of time?

Contributing Solution Provider

Does your marketing survive the test of time?

Maybe, just maybe, your customers will be happy to help! The-test-of-time.jpg


More powerful than a speeding…


In a recent post, I discussed similarities and differences between inbound and outbound marketing. A lead generation program is an appropriate model of using both inbound and outbound marketing, which is beneficial for a B2B company to use.


Few direct marketing techniques are as powerful as customer testimonials. It’s about as close as you can get when customer A meets prospect A face-to-face and just raves about your product. Customer testimonials prove your claims and ease the doubts of prospective customers.


But where do testimonials come from? 


If you're lucky, you'll get a few unsolicited testimonials now and then. However, even if customers love you, most won't write up a testimonial unless you ask for it


Here're a few simple, efficient methods for getting a variety of great testimonials. 


One, schedule it. 

Testimonials don't just happen. You need to commit to a regular program of soliciting comments from your customers once a month, once a quarter, twice a year, or whatever works for your company. You might also want to set quotas, such as a goal to get 10 new testimonials a month. The numbers you choose aren't important. What's important is that you establish a routine and stick to it. 


Two, call your customers.  

Select a portion of your customer list and start phoning. When you reach someone, start with a flattering statement. You might say “I recently read a post in LinkedIn how your company President built an intern program using students from the local junior college. We’ve been thinking of something similar. May I speak to Karen if she has a few minutes to spare?”


Once you reach her, carefully weave your questions within the conversation. The initial questions should be simple, such as: What do you like about our product? Does it arrive on schedule and is it always in good condition?


After this warm-up, you can ask more detailed questions: What is your opinion of our product? What is the one feature you like the best? Why would you say it's better than similar products? How has it saved you time, money, trouble, etc.? 


Choose your questions carefully and keep the interview short. This isn't a research project. You're simply trying to elicit one good statement that you can turn into a testimonial. 


When you do get a good comment, say you're so impressed you wanted to ask that the comment be used in your marketing. 


Three, quid pro quo.

Make sure the wording is such that gives you ownership of the testimonial. Your competitors are always looking for ideas they can use to bad mouth your company.


Quite frequently, the person giving the referral may also want to share some of those comments with their customers.  Offer such as your appreciation for their time, or send a gift as a small token of thanks, which will likely increase the number of replies returned from your customers.  


Four, now share it. 

How many channels are used in outbound and inbound marketing? I can’t help you with an answer for that, so get going and count the channels for sharing and then start collecting testimonials.


Thanks for reading and please share with others, except your competition.


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