Buying safe – it’s the value of testimonials

Julie Futcher

One of the reasons why large chain coffee shops are damaging the family owned one-off coffee shops is the human need to know what we’re getting for our money. A brand is recognised, and we feel safer with a company we trust.  We feel more confidence in what we will get in return for our hard earned cash

This blog should appeal to all our network members, both in-company trainers and self employed trainers.  One of the questions we get asked often from people purchasing training is ‘Can you give me some tips on choosing the right training company?’.

Reviews, references and testimonials are one of the pointers we suggest.

I’ll let Julie Futcher pick up from here…

There was mass excitement in my office this week – well the kitchen table to be truthful – as I had my first “proper” enquiry via my website!  It was for the one day open telesales training that I run, and, as I say to all of my clients, I picked up the telephone to discuss this further with my prospective client.

I am always interested in how people find me, and it was comforting to hear that some of the SEO work that I have been carrying out on the website has worked! However, what they told me was that it was the testimonials that I had displayed that drove them to make their enquiry. Strangely enough, I have been having many conversations over the past few months with my clients about the use of testimonials and how powerful they can be for every business.

The great news is that they have booked and that this could lead to me delivering two days in house training for their business if all goes well.

When I am training people to sell, I get them to look at life from a customer’s point of view, i.e., why do people buy and how do they like to be treated.  One of the areas that I discuss, is the fact that customers like to know that they are not alone in using your services, they want assurance that you can do what you purport to, and testimonials are a great way to do this!  However, to be effective, they need to detail how you have helped that individual and be transparent, i.e., have company and contact names.

Some of you at this point, may have just taken a sharp intake of breath at that last statement and be sitting there thinking that if you do that, your competition may “poach” that client away!  Don’t worry, if you are doing a good job and the customer values what you do (and they do, because they have given you a testimonial!), then they won’t move; in my experience they tell you about the call and have a good laugh with the at the audacity of the caller!

I strongly believe that testimonials are a powerful tool, use them well and they help “sell” your business.

Thank you Julie. Wise words and if Kay Buckby may sum up:

For self employed trainers:

  • When a client thanks you, ask them to drop a line and confirm you can use their name, job role and company. I often think testimonials that say HR Director, Investment Bank are a waste of time. We can all say this!
  • Ask your client to do a Facebook star review, and link this on your website.
  • Ask for Linkedin recommendations. I know when I purchase in services, I read what people say about anyone I use.

For our in-company trainers:

  • check out the reviews and testimonials stated and speak with clients to dig deeper to find out what you need to help you choose the right trainer, coach, consultant or facilitator
  • keep your Linkedin recommendations up to date, as one day you may be selling yourself to a prospective employer.

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