Issue Date: Sales Success Nov 15, 2008, Posted On: 11/15/2008
Why customer testimonials work What do people who've actually purchased a vehicle from you think about the whole experience? Answering that question is one of the most fundamental tasks you need to accomplish - and it's as simple to do as it is important.
By using testimonials from your customers, you have not only answered the question, you have also solved several other problems.
Overcome skepticism Displaying testimonial letters from satisfied customers is probably one of the easiest ways to improve your sales, and a good one can generate more selling power than some of the best vehicle walkarounds.
Why are testimonials so effective?
Testimonials build trust. Whether your customers are raving about there experience with you and your dealership or about the great service you gave, they're telling your prospects first and foremost that they had a positive experience. Testimonials aren't "selling." Because testimonials aren't written in your voice, they stand out as candid and unbiased accounts of how well you do you job.
Testimonials overcome skepticism. A good testimonial has the power to convince even your toughest customers that you made a difference - and can help them, too.
Choosing a testimonial Here's an example of a glowing, but ultimately ineffective testimonial:
"I love this car. I can't drive it enough. I'm so glad I bought the car from you and I'll definitely be back again."
What could be wrong with that? It sounds like you have a happy customer on your hands.
But what does this testimonial really tell your prospects? Does it prove the vehicle works as expected, or explain exactly how your customer benefited from using it? While the feedback is definitely positive, the testimonial doesn't provide enough detail to have any real impact.
Here's an example of the kind of effective, benefits-driven testimonial that'll turn a car shopper into a car buyer:
"I'm very pleased with the Ford Edge we purchased from you. Last week I took the family for a long weekend in the mountains and for the first time we were able to get all of our luggage and the baby's playpen inside our car. And we could carry our bikes on the back, too."
What works? What makes this testimonial so powerful? Let's break down the elements of an effective testimonial in more detail:
A good testimonial is filled with benefits. A comment like, "This car is great!" is nice to hear, but it doesn't tell visitors what the vehicle can actually do for them. You want the benefits to be front and center in every testimonial: ""We've never seen any product that could make our car shine like that chemical protection we bought from you--until now."
A good testimonial will substantiate your presentation. If you say a vehicle can do something, your testimonials should back up your promises, complete with actual facts and figures. How did it solve their problems or improve their lives?
A good testimonial is from someone your audience can relate to. You want your customers to see that a vehicle helped someone just like them. Make sure your testimonials come from someone with whom your regular customers can identify. If you sell primarily to senior citizens, for example, ask your customers if you can include their age along with the testimonial. If you're selling to parents with young children, ask if you can mention how many kids they have or include a photo of their family.
A good testimonial is credible. Accompany each testimonial with the first name, last name and hometown of each testimonial-giver to show that your endorsements come from real people. Always try to include a photo as well.
A good testimonial is comparative. Did your customers drive another brand of car before they bought yours? You want your customers to know what your vehicles can do that others can't. Choose testimonials that set your brand apart from your competition.