Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Use Testimonials to Attract Prospects and Win Sales

How often do you include testimonials in your meetings with prospects? All the time? When you remember? According to sales trainer and author Kendra Lee, they should be one of your top selling tools. A testimonial is a vote of confidence; a stamp of approval from your clients telling others they can trust you with their business. Read on for Lee's suggestions on using testimonials to close the deal.

Identify key influencers who are happy with your offerings

Everyone has access to unending stores of information about you: from your own press releases, annual reports and websites to social chatter in Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, FaceBook, iReports, Plaxo, LinkedIn, and blog postings.

Getting through prospect filters requires building their confidence in your past successes and current promises. Use your delighted customers to tell their stories, share the results they've experienced, and promote the value of working with you.

Capture quotes and examples, validate, and gain approval to use them

Beyond their satisfaction, current customer testimonials will help you build your credibility and protect your reputation. During client meetings and in email exchanges, watch and listen for expressions of their pleasure with a project and ask to quote them.

With emails, I'll frequently respond to a client with thanks for their kind words, then ask if I can quote them. I'll let them know how I want to use the quote, and if it isn't clear, will paraphrase the quote I'd like to use.

Consider capturing quotes for email signature lines, podcasts, webcast stories, article bylines, press releases, blogs, and social networks as you use them.

Check back in with us tomorrow for more advice from Kendra Lee on how to use testimonials to win more sales.

Kendra Lee is author of the award-winning book "Selling Against the Goal" and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group helps companies rapidly penetrate new markets, break into new accounts and shorten time to revenue with new products in the SMB segment. To find out more visit http://www.klagroup.com

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