As a small-business owner, you will have no doubt heard of the all-important sales funnel. This is the “journey” customers take from first discovering your business to making a transaction or booking an appointment.
The top of your sales funnel relates to getting noticed and drawing customers to your shop front or website. However, this is only the beginning of the process. To truly succeed at business, you need to convert as many of those prospects into buyers as you can. And there’s one secret weapon which is highly effective in triggering people to buy: testimonials.
Text or video from customers who have already used your business can be one of the most powerful tools you have to help people make a decision to buy from your business. Here are five quick reasons why you need to feature testimonials in as many places as possible:
Testimonials create a feeling of safety in numbers. Nobody wants to be your first customer but when they come to your website it will be difficult for them to instantly determine whether or not you have a track record of success. With testimonials, you are proving you are an established business which can deliver results.
Nowadays, anyone can set up a website and register a business name. Consumers are all too aware of this and hesitate to buy without evidence that a business is legitimate. Including testimonials with names and photographs reduces the skepticism experienced by a first-time visitor to your website. It shows that real people have already used your company and backs up your claims of authenticity.
Like it or not, you only represent one demographic. A customer from outside this demographic may find it difficult to form an emotional connection when they visit your website. By adding a selection of testimonials from a mix of demographics, you are actually creating more opportunities for your leads to relate to your business. They will see that someone like them uses your product and will be prompted to find out more.
A well-written testimonial is a brief version of the start-to-finish journey your happy customers have taken with your business. It will describe the customer’s reservations and challenges and explain how they ultimately became a customer. With each testimonial, you are adding arguments as to why people should spend money with your business.
Your testimonials are also a clever way to share the benefits and results of your service. You can say all you want about how amazing your business is but the real test is to find other people to say the same thing. Once you do, you will have an incredible tool to convince your target audience that you are everything you say you are and more.
Don’t forget — your website isn’t the only place where customers will go to find out more about your business. When you have a happy customer, invite them to post a review on LinkedIn, on your Facebook page, and on Google. You can also look at setting up a profile for your business on sites like Yelp! And TrueLocal.
When you receive a great testimonial on one of these platforms, re-purpose it for your website.
Dale Beaumont, Founder and CEO, Business Blueprint