To sell more, you need third-party cred. Who have you (or your products/services) most impressed, and how?
The best way to build trust is to have a mittful of testimonials or case studies. In my experience, however, most companies (or salespeople) mismanage this process. They don't keep a record of positive client feedback they've received, and they don't develop customer success stories that they can insert into sales conversations at the drop of a hint.
How do you get better at this? My friend and mentor Tom Stoyan, “Canada’s Sales Coach,” has an answer: Pull out your Proof Book.
Stoyan says: “Since most of us don't like to buy on unsupported facts or claims, develop a resource that can be used to prove the benefits of your product or company. This could include testimonials, media articles, charts, statistics and brochures.”
When prospects ask tough questions or express some doubt, hit ’em with your Proof Book: the body of evidence that says you consistently create value for your clients and your community.
What items could you include in your Proof Book?
Think back on all the evidence you've earned overt the years: emails, letters of appreciation, awards, positive media appearances, social media post, speaking opportunities, etc. Whatever documents your products success, or your own stature as a leader in your field.
Then, ask yourself, what additional stories could you tell if you went back to satisfied clients and asked them for anecdotes or testimonials about your relationship together?
Extra Bonus: If you're looking for a chance to do more work for past clients, contacting them to ask for a testimonial, or some other evidence of the benefits you've generated, may be your secret weapon in rekindling that relationship.
One more note: sometimes customers have trouble describing their satisfaction, or quantifying the value you've created. Or maybe they're just too busy. Jump on this opportunity! Offer to write the testimonial for them, and say you’ll run it by them for their approval.
Then write something up that you’d like them to say about you. Try to write in their voice, from their point of view. Keep it simple and jargon-free; customers use different language than you do. Be concise. Use strong, upbeat and professional language that will show you and your client in a good light.
Your contact will appreciate you doing the work for them, and will likely approve whatever text you show them. Confirm that you have permission to reprint this testimonial – and then stuff it into the front of your Proof Book.