As customers we are all more cynical: How to use Social Proof to overcome this
Testimonials are a great way to overcome that and we show you why below.
The Savvy Modern Customer
Customers today are much savvier than when I entered the world of marketing aged 15—a long, long time ago! Then, marketers were in control and it was about broadcasting our stuff to the masses. We were telling and selling.
Today, just because you say your product or service is excellent, doesn’t mean anyone will believe you. In fact usually they won’t; we are all rightly a lot more sceptical.
In the world of B2B lead generation, this is particularly the case—the stakes are higher and everything is more complex. So buyers need to question everything.
It is never sufficient in marketing to simply proclaim that you are trustworthy and that you provide a valuable service; you need to provide proof.
Every unsubstantiated claim you make will be questioned by a prospective client before they part with their money. Even if you have never done a poor job, or would never dream of “ripping off” a client, you need to approach your clients with the expectation that your integrity will be questioned.
Help Get Your Customers over the Line
One of my mentors in direct marketing used to say “the loneliest place on the planet is the person sitting at their computer thinking of entering their credit card details” (thanks Mal—a great image!). So your clients need help to get over the line, to make the decision to buy—they need to believe in your value.
So how can you prove your integrity to your prospects without sounding far-fetched? The most powerful solution is incredibly simple: Get somebody else to do it!
The Power of Other People’s Words
A fundamental marketing and lead generation truth: potential clients find what others say about you way more believable than what you say about yourself. It’s that simple.
Buyers know that you will promote and protect your own self-interest above all else, so anything you say is taken with a grain of salt. This is where the hierarchy of credibility comes into play, which we’ll discuss in a later blog post.
What others say about your business is more believable as they will give a balanced view of your service and the value you deliver. Think of client testimonials as witnesses testifying about the value of your product or service in a courtroom — much more believable than your testimony, if you are the unfortunate defendant!
As testimonials are so valuable in terms of winning clients, gathering them and making them prominent in your marketing is now an essential part of your strategy.
The magic key to getting testimonials is simply to ask for them. You’d be surprised how many of your clients will be willing to do so if you ask and then make the process as easy as possible for them – but that’s a subject for another post in the near future. Stay tuned!
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