Guest blog by Julie Mitchell-Mehta of Début Marketing
As I am sure you know, word of mouth is and always has been the most powerful form of marketing. If you think about the last time you were looking for a builder or a hairdresser, what did you do? The chances are you asked a friend to recommend someone. That’s because we trust the opinions of our friends and would much rather use a supplier who came with glowing references from somebody whose opinion we value.
These days it is easier than ever to find out what a product or service is really like before we part with our hard-earned cash. Think about the success of Trip Adviser. I know I am unlikely to book a holiday without checking out some reviews or testimonials. And Amazon’s review are also pretty helpful, and can make for an entertaining read at times, not to mention seller ratings on ebay, product reviews on most electrical store websites and even online clothes shops getting in on the act.
We know how important recommendations are, so why do we find it so hard to ask for them? I know I am not alone in finding it really awkward to ask for testimonials. It could be fear of hearing negative feedback, but, realistically, we are only going to ask for testimonials from people who have already told us they are happy with our work. It must just be that terrible British reserve which prevents us from blowing our own trumpets and makes us feel embarrassed when we receive compliments.
There are, however, ways to sidestep even the most deep seated reserve. Here are a few suggestions:
What do you do? Are there any other tried and tested ways to ask for testimonials you would recommend?
Julie Mitchell-Mehta is the owner of Début Marketing, an Aberdeen consultancy offering marketing advice, outsourced marketing management, copywriting and social media training.