Robert Terson

Testimonials provide demonstrative evidence to validate what the salesperson has asserted about his/her product or service—the proof sequence of the presentation. Testimonials are a form of third-party affirmation and are an absolute must. A presentation without testimonials is like a wad of cotton candy—sweet but devoid of fiber.

From my many conversations with salespeople who’ve called me for advice/help, I’ve come to realize that too many of you are bypassing testimonials, which I think is a huge mistake. The only reason that I can come up with is laziness—some of you just don’t want to do the necessary legwork to get testimonials. Or perhaps you think you’re such a super salesperson that you don’t need them.

In my business we used four types of testimonials:

1. Blue reply cards sent back by homeowners; every so often a client would send in a blue-reply-card testi- monial. I had stacks of them to show a prospect.

2. Letters from non-mailing-list homeowners requesting telephone-book covers, and letters from mailing-list homeowners requesting additional covers. I kept them in their original envelopes to show the return address and cancelled postmark.

3. Testimonial letters from satisfied clients. I kept these encased in plastic sheaths in a three-ring binder and up-dated the binder every six months.

4. Letters from non-clients requesting ad space in future mailings. These, too, were kept in their original envelopes.

My friend, architect Barry Thalden, pointed out to me that in our modern technological world videotaped testimonials from satisfied clients and consumers would be an even more powerful proof sequence than what I used for four decades. I concur, go for it. Despite my non-techie nature, if I were still selling advertising, I’d pounce on that idea quicker than Brian Urlacher can sack a quarterback.

This is how I’d go about getting them: I’d contact some of my most-satisfied clients/customers (you do have satisfied clients/customers, I hope; if you don’t, you need to go into a different business!), and ask for their help. I’d ask them to give a short two- to three-minute videotaped testimonial. I’d also make a list of the points I’d hope to highlight in the video and I’d go over these points with each individual, much the same way a movie director might go over the lines of a script with an actor. Of course, the more professional you can make the video, the better; tell the Powers That Be in your company that it takes money to make money—good luck with selling them on that point.

If you walk into a presentation with enough testimonial firepower, especially if it’s in the form of video, you’re going to present a proof sequence that’s going to bowl them over. You’re going to make a lot more sales and you’re going to earn a lot more money—for both you and the company.


On December 21st, I published a guest post from my friend Dave Brock entitled “Making A Difference In 2013: Help 1000’s Get Access To Clean Water!” I hope you’ll take a moment to reread it: http://www.sellingfearlessly.com/2012/12/21/making-a-difference-in-2013-help-1000′s-get-access-to-clean-water-by-david-brock/ I know you’re inundated by charity requests this time of year, but I hope you’ll pay attention to this one, even if it’s only for a few dollars, because it’s a great cause and it means a lot to a terrific guy–Dave Brock. Here’s a post Dave put up recently on his site; I hope you’ll take a moment to read it, too: http://partnersinexcellenceblog.com/thinking-of-others-water-changes-everything/ Again, even if it’s only a few dollars–it’ll mean a lot!