There were multiple options to consider… I eventually decided on one and checked out.
Here’s the crazy part: this tiny gadget costs $7.00 – less than the cost of a sandwich – yet I must have read 5 or 6 reviews before I made the decision to purchase.
If I did this for a $7.00 gadget, imagine the research people are doing before buying a $1,000, $10,000 or $100,000 home improvement!
Since the dawn of commerce, word of mouth marketing – essentially people talking with and influencing others to make purchases – has been an important driver to generate more leads and close more sales.
Today, though – that effect is exponentially greater as consumers can now access each other’s opinions at the touch of a button.
As business owners, if we want to generate more high quality leads, close more sales, make more money, and generate more referrals for your contracting business we need to take advantage of this opportunity and pile on the social proof in every situation we can.
WHAT EXACTLY IS SOCIAL PROOF?
In the book “Influence,” Robert Cialdini describes social proof as “the tendency to see an action as more appropriate when others are doing it.”
You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying…
“What others say about you is 1,000 times more believable than what you say about yourself.”
So social proof is basically collecting and making available what your customers are saying about you so that you’ll get more people interested in calling you and giving you an opportunity to sell them something… and as a powerful way to close more sales at the kitchen table.
The best way to develop this social proof today in an easily shareable format is through testimonials.
OK… SO HOW DO YOU GET TESTIMONIALS?
Maybe you don’t have any testimonials…
No problem; just ask for them. You’d be surprised how quickly you can create an assortment of great testimonials, especially if you have a good relationship with your clients and they’re appreciative of what you do for them.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a bunch of testimonials lying around your office right now in the form of unsolicited thank-you notes from your clients. It’s time to pull them out and put them to good use. Get them out and let your clients tell the world about how great your home improvement business is.
Then, go back to your past clients and ask them to give you a testimonial. Send them an easy to fill out Testimonial Form or run a testimonial contest. Ask your new clients coming in the door today to give you a testimonial immediately after you’ve completed the transaction. But be sure to make it easy for them.
I have a Wealthy Contractor client who has carried a camera with him for years, taking videos and pictures of his customers standing in front of their house (after he installed new windows, siding or roofing) with his company sign, a smile and a big thumbs up.
In fact, he takes this one step further, he uses those client testimonials in his sales presentations. When a prospect objects about price… he’ll play a video of a customer who said the same thing before signing a contract. But, after they had the work done they say it was the best decision they made. He doesn’t have to say anything… his customers are selling his jobs for him!
And he used to do this back before there were iPhones – with today’s technology, you have no excuses.
So, make a plan to go to your past and current clients and ask them to tell you about their experience with your business. Take a video camera or iPhone with you, then take what they’ve said and use it in all of your advertisements and sales presentations. Print them up and put them in your store, include them on your brochures and print materials, and post them on your website.
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY TESTIMONIALS.
Just like money, you can never have enough testimonials.
You should never be satisfied with the quantity or quality of your testimonials and stop collecting them.
You never know when a “Million-Dollar Testimonial” is around the corner – if you just ask for it. You also need to continuously ask for testimonials so they keep up with your changing products and services, as well as the changing needs of your consumers.
Make collecting testimonials a standard operating procedure in your business. Let your staff know how important it is for the business to collect testimonials from your clients. Collect as many as you can; the more you have, the more options you have for “controlled” word-of-mouth contractor marketing. And the more options you have for attracting new clients, the more options you have for selling more of your products and services.