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DO TESTIMONIALS REALLY WORK? PART II:
WHEN TO USE THEM AND WHEN NOT…
In our prior discussion, I talked about the Evaluation People Pattern™. This critical Evaluation People Pattern™ determines how an individual makes a judgment. In the context of sales, this pattern reveals how an individual makes a judgment to buy a product or service.
If you remember, there are two types of people when it comes to the Evaluation People Pattern™: Internal People and External People. Individuals who have what we call an Internal Referential Filter don’t want to hear about what other people are saying about a product or a service that they are thinking about purchasing. On the other side of the coin, there are those who have an External Referential Filter. They need to know what other people think before they purchase something. Remember, too, that there are some Internal People who will rely on what another person is saying if that person happens to be a proven expert on the product or service and has accurate information.
It makes a huge difference whether you are selling to someone with an internal pattern or an external pattern. Most Internal People think that the public at large is totally lacking in awareness and taste when it comes to making evaluations or judgments. In fact, our term, the Science of Idiots™ is quite apropos here, since Internal People view External People to be idiots for the most part. The former ask in referring to the latter: How is it possible to be such an idiot as to need another person’s opinion before buying something?
On the other hand, External People can’t imagine how a person can buy anything in life without getting feedback from others. They think that Internal People are idiots for not wanting the opinion of other people.
So what can you do to tailor your sales communication, whether one-on-one or on your site to reach these types of people? First, let us consider External People. If you are dealing with External People there are two viable strategies. One, you can position yourself as their external point of reference. The second strategy is to have people they respect or admire talk about your product.
The first strategy means that you have to be knowledgeable about your product or service as well as be trustworthy. Even sleazy car salesmen types don’t fare well here. Customers are much savvier than you may think and they certainly don’t want or need the traditional hype that has worked in the past in certain niches. The best rule of all is to always come from a place of integrity. In our work professionally modeling top salespeople over the years, my husband and I have always found that the best of the best have integrity and also create trust among their customers. I’ll delve more into this topic in a future article.
The second strategy involves telling your customers what people they respect have to say about what you are selling or providing. This means finding out who those people are for your particular customers.
In brief, with External People:
- Provide as much information or referral material that you can.
- Give as many testimonials as possible (more is better than less here)
- Stress what others think about your product.
- Have them see and or hear others’ reactions to your product or service.
- Know that they are easily influenced by others.
Now, with Internal People, the strategy is totally different. With them you want to go out of your way to avoid telling them what other people are saying about your product or service. In fact, an Internal People will think less of you if try to sell your product based on testimonials or based on others’ opinions. They simply will view you as another idiot who has no clue about things.
In brief, with Internal People:
- Suggest that they have their own internal check regarding the buying decision.
- Stress that it is up to them and not up to you, as to whether to buy or not.
- Avoid giving testimonials.
- Tell them that you know that they are ultimately making the buying decision.
- Know that telling them what others think is useless and may cost you the sale.
Also, remember that if you are an expert and or have someone else’s expertise to present regarding your product, it may be helpful to the Internal Person and only if the information is from an expert and is relevant.
In summary, it is critical in sales to know what criteria your customers are using when buying anything. This is why it is so important to appeal to both the Internal and External People in your presentation. In this way, you cover all possibilities; and you increase your sales as well as avoid missing half your customers and thus, avoid losing sales.
As I have said before, Marilyne Woodsmall is one of the smartest marketing modelers out there, which is why many of the Marketing Gurus have sought her and her husband Wyatt, out for training.
While you may not have heard of them before, I can guarantee that if you have ever purchased anything online, you have seen their techniques being used.
To find out more information, you can go to The Science Of Idiots .com
I also suggest that you listen to the interview that I did wit her here.