Six big myths about testimonials

In a competitive marketplace it’s important to use every tool in your sales toolbox to help  drive more revenue into your business. Testimonials are, by far, one of the most cost-effective tools at your disposal in that regard. Think about all the great ways they can serve you and your business. In good times and in tough times, testimonials are in abundant supply, they cost next to nothing to procure and they have a shelf life that exceeds just about any other marketing collateral out there.

 Given these great benefits, you might wonder why they’re still underused by many sales people today. I sure do, and it’s something I regularly ask of people I meet when conducting sales training sessions: what’s your testimonial strategy…and if you don’t have one, why not? Over the years, I’ve listened to a lot of answers to those questions from a range of people in organizations large and small. What I have found at the heart of the problem is that testimonials are often underestimated because incorrect assumptions are made either in the process of collecting them or in how they are used to promote a business.

 There are six big myths about testimonials. Let’s review them now…

But first….don’t forget to sign up for our free call on January 21st at 12 noon eastern where we will be diving more deeply into the power of testimonials and the other Top 5 ways to increase your sales in 2010. You can register at 

 1.  “They can’t be all that effective or everyone would be using them”

 This is one of the biggest mistakes anyone in sales can make, to assume that success is about doing what everyone else is doing. In fact, success hinges on being choosy about whose business habits you should emulate. Never mind what the majority of people are doing; pay careful attention to what the top 20% of sales performers are up to. Regular collection and distribution of testimonials is right up there among the list of activities that top salespeople have in common. They rely on testimonials because they really do work, and they work because they are persistent in how they solicit them, publish them and leverage them in their selling strategy.

 2.  “I shouldn’t have to ask my customers for testimonials”

 This is another common mistake that takes root from an incorrect assumption, namely that salespeople should wait for their satisfied customers to make the first move and offer up glowing testimonials. That’s not to say that this never happens in business—hey it sure is a great shot in the arm when someone offers one that’s unsolicited—but the reality is that testimonials simply aren’t going to come knocking on your door. You have to go looking for them. You have to ask. And you have to persistent about it. If you’re ambitious and keen to become part of the top-20% of sales performers in your organization, you need to make this an integral part of your job. No excuses.

 3. “Asking for testimonials will make me look like I’m fishing for compliments”

 Let’s consider this one a half-myth. I say this because it’s true that when you ask for a testimonial you’re essentially asking customers to say something positive about you and about your business. The myth is that there’s something wrong with doing this. Come on, let’s face facts. When it comes to your business and your personal success as a salesperson, it’s not the time to be modest! You work hard to provide your customers with your very best, both in terms of sales professionalism and in after-sales service. Your best customers call on you again and again…and they do so for a reason. So why wouldn’t you want to ask them for some insight to learn more about what it is specifically that you do that keeps them coming back?

 4. “People often don’t make good on their promise because they don’t really want to write that testimonial”

 This is classic negative thinking. It starts from the false premise that when someone doesn’t follow through on a promise it’s because they don’t really want to do what you’ve asked them to do. As a result your self-esteem takes a hit needlessly. In fact, there’s really only one reason why people don’t give you that testimonial even though earlier they said they would…and that’s because they don’t have time. Time management is a struggle even for the best of us out there and many, to be frank, find themselves at a loss for what to write even though verbally they sing your praises regularly. It’s vital that you not lose sight of this when it happens—and it will. Your customers really do like you: it’s just that not everyone knows how to express it. This is where Engage Selling’s newest product, TestimonialDirector, can really help make a difference in your business, helping to dramatically increase your sales while freeing your time with automatic collection, management and publication of targeted testimonials.

 5.  “Testimonials are just too much work”

 There’s no denying that a little bit of effort goes into regularly asking for testimonials and publishing them so that others can read all the great praise about your work. However, are they worth the effort? You bet they are. Obtaining a testimonial can be as easy as picking up the phone and calling one of your favourite clients and simply asking them for one. Do that often enough and be persistent about it and before long, you will have amassed a considerable arsenal of word-of-mouth recommendations that you can use in your marketing sales letters, brochures, corporate website, newsletters…the list of possibilities is endless. The payoff for your efforts can be lucrative and ongoing. If you can convert one potential lead into a sale on the strength of what others have to say about your product or services, you can sure that there are exponentially more potential customers out there who will be just as receptive to the power of word-of-mouth. 

6.  “People are wary of taking the word of a stranger” 

Nothing could be further from the truth! Human beings are social creatures and we’re hardwired to pay careful attention to what others do and say. Consider the results of a 2007 Neilsen study, which found that roughly four of every five consumers perceive recommendations by fellow consumers as the most credible form of advertising. Testimonials give your readers both an emotion-based and fact-based green light, motivating them to buy from you. Therefore, the more often you seek out great recommendations about your work, the most often you will have the opportunity to sell more to more people in less time. 

Tackle these six testimonial myths in your own organization and develop a testimonial procurement strategy. Make this a priority for the year. Not only can it translate into skyrocketing sales, you’ll get a great feeling inside knowing how much all your customers really do enjoy working with you. 

Don’t forget to sign up for our free call on January 21st at 12 noon eastern where we will be diving more deeply into the power of testimonials and the other Top 5 ways to increase your sales in 2010. You can register at

One response to “Six big myths about testimonials

  1. Tweets that mention Six big myths about testimonials | Sell More, Work Less and Make More Money by Colleen Francis -- says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Colleen Francis, JobShoots and JobShoots, Santi Chacon. Santi Chacon said: Six big myths about testimonials: In a competitive marketplace it’s important to use every tool in your sales tool… […]

Comments are closed.