The importance of endorsements.

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Whenever I advise businesses about business development, invariably we’ll discuss their current promotions and how they can be made more effective.

Most people who’ve done any kind of studying about marketing have come across the concept of testimonials and endorsements.  Many even incorporate them into their literature, web sites and advertising.

To understand why endorsements and testimonials are so important, let me explain first of all the difference between the two.

An endorsement is usually when someone with credibility vouches for a product or service.  The credibility can come from occupation or celebrity status.  For instance a doctor endorsing a health or wellness product, or a celebrity endorsing a brand of cosmetics.

A testimonial is when someone who had used the product or service recounts the results they’ve experienced and the benefits they’ve received.  In a future post, I will write about how to obtain endorsements and testimonials that really work as opposed to the bland and ho hum type we usually encounter.

In this post I’m going to focus on why endorsements and testimonials are so effective when used correctly.

Let me give you an example:

Recently someone I know became interested in whole body vibration technology as a means to fitness, weight loss and general health therapy.  Their wife had used the technology before and had experienced some great results in increased fitness, flexibility and stamina as well as all round well-being.  She’d wanted to buy a machine of her own to make it easier to use this technology on a regular basis, but found the price to be higher than her budget allowed.

About a year later she found a platform that met the specs of the higher priced model for considerably less so bought one.  Her husband used it and was amazed by the results he experienced.  He immediately began thinking about selling this technology.

A few days later, on a business trip, he told someone about this amazing machine and sold one on the spot.  What he told them was his testimonial.  His excitement about what the technology had done for him convinced the other person that this was a genuine ‘must have’ machine.  Without batting an eyelid, they put their money on the table and ordered a machine.

When he delivered the machine, he took some information with him, including a list of health professionals and celebrities that endorsed the technology.  The buyer, who’d been doing some research in the meantime and had some questions, took one look at the list of endorsements and was immediately re-sold on the product.  The questions fell away as a result of their assumption in the credibility of the people providing endorsement.  This endorsement was simply a ‘who’s who’ of vibration exercise users.

I have found this tendency to rely upon endorsement and testimonials to make a purchasing decision to be common to both B2B and B2C marketing.  Many times the first question a potential client will ask is: “Who else in my industry have you done this for?”

When you come to think of it, it is quite illogical really.  Clients mostly will fight tooth and nail for an exclusivity arrangement with a consultant so that their competition cannot acces the same expertise that they do, yet at the get go, they require the safety net of knowing that the consultant has worked for others in their industry.

Be that as it may, endorsement and testimonials are extremely effective means of providing a potential customer with the logic and the security to make a positive decision.  These tools should be used wherever possible.  You’ll find that once you use them properly, your close rate will increase significantly as you overcome the number one reason for hesitation:  fear.

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