The Power of Testimonials

By: rickstooker
Most marketers understand the power of testimonials. What too many don't realize is that telling an extended testimonial as a story ramps up their power.

All of us hunger for stories. We love to follow along as likable people solve interesting problems. We love satisfying conclusions (maybe because they're so few and far between in our real lives!).

All too often marketers content themselves with typical lame testimonials such as: "Loved your weightloss product, it's great."

Better marketers include benefits and specifics: "I lost 83 pounds in 11 months, without dieting or exercising."

Great marketers understand that their prospect really craves the story behind the testimonial.

"I was so overweight my husband and kids laughed at me. I weighed 385 pounds. I was ashamed to leave my house. But the more miserable I felt, the more high calorie I wanted to eat. Then one day I got your letter in the mail and decided I didn't have anything left to lose.

"When the package arrived in the mail, my fingers were so fat I could barely open the little cap on the bottle, but finally I popped it off and took my first few capsules.

"Frankly, nothing happened the first few days. I might have stopped, except your directions warned me not to expect instant miracles. The second week, I noticed that my clothes weren't as tight."

. . . and so on.

Don't you start to feel happy for her? She had a problem, she found a solution (your product) and therefore is now on the road to a healthy body weight.

Suddenly your prospect can start to think that she can lose weight too. She's probably no worse off than the woman in the testimonial.

Now she can start to believe that she can lose weight without dieting or exercising too.

So customer success case studies help dissolve what's often the biggest unstated prospect objection to any problem: "It wouldn't work for me."

Sometimes this is a deep psychological defect on their part. Sometimes they just really believe that ordinary testimonials are written by people who aren't like them, that somehow the deck was "stacked" in favor of the testimonial writer. (And sometimes they're right.)

But when you give them plenty of personal detail, document efforts and mistakes and eventual triumph over real obstacles, you help them visualize a solution to their own problems.

Case studies are often used in business to business marketing, especially in the high tech industry, to verify that a company can solve another company's problems.

The truth is, every company that sells a worthwhile product should use these extended testimonials or case histories to sell their products -- to businesses and consumers.
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