The first benefit you get from giving me a testimonial is that you get free publicity wherever I use it. Provided I attract a lot of readers to my blog or do a lot of mailings, you stand to gain a lot of recognition.
Interestingly, while working with clients on ways to fine tune their marketing and sales activities today, I realized a second, more significant benefit about giving testimonials: when you give a testimonial, you have an opportunity to indirectly state what you believe. The mere fact you are giving a testimonial points back at the values you hold as important. For instance, I recommended that one of my clients tweet about his story about the exceptional customer service he recently received from a rep who was empowered to fix a problem for him without having to go up line for authorization. By tweeting about this, he shows the values that they respect.
In other words, by writing a tweet about someone else’s excellent customer service, where the rep on the phone was authorized to go above and beyond what most customer service reps can do, you are simultaneously talking about the characteristics of customer service you value in your company. Best of all, you reflect positively on your company’s values without saying one word about your company, your mission statement, or your core values statement.
So next time someone asks you for one, remember that giving a testimonial isn’t one sided. If the person or company really did an exceptional job, one that you feel deserves praise, by stating what it was that you felt was beyond the norm, you reveal your own values. That kind of publicity can reflect well on you, as well as on the person you praised.
Ask yourself, whom do I know is deserving of recognition for outstanding work? Then take action. Write a tweet. Write a blog post. Contribute a comment. Send a thank you note. What you do is not as important as doing, so do.
My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. Until June 11t, 2012, it is available at its introductory rate of $.99. I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.
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