No matter how good a product or service seems, most people operate by a simple protocol; if there is social proof that it has worked for others, they’re more inclined to buy.
Social proof, defined loosely, is the approval of other consumers. It makes a product or service vastly more attractive and lends legitimacy that cannot be achieved in other ways. Think about the last time you went on vacation. You might have short-listed a few hotels, checked out virtual tours to make sure the rooms were to your liking, but if you’re like most consumers you also read online reviews and testimonials to see what others thought. Even though you’ve never met these people, they provided you with the social proof you needed to press the “book now!” button.
The same philosophy applies to acquiring new prospects and buyers in Real Estate. The easiest way to get social proof is to ask for testimonials. Andrew Griffiths, of Inc. puts it very succinctly in his piece on the importance of testimonials.
Let’s be honest, we are all somewhat cynical. We certainly don’t believe everything we are told, especially when it comes to advertising. But we do believe other people.
Some people worry that their clients might find the request for a testimonial invasive. Remember, someone who has had a positive experience with you is generally happy to talk about it and refer their friends. Kern Lewis, of Forbes suggests that the best time to ask for referrals or testimonials is during or right after you’ve delivered an excellent customer experience. Start doing this and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many of your clients give an enthusiastic “yes!”
Now that you have clients who are eager to sing your praises, what makes a good and compelling testimonial? Derek Gehl, CEO of Internet Marketing Center and Entreprenuer.com contributor, put together a few suggestions:
- A good testimonial is filled with benefits. “We told Sarah Jones that we needed to move within three months. She found us so many perfect options to choose from that we were able to move in less than two! Her diligence and proficiency saved us so much time and stress!” – Bill and Karen Smith
- A good testimonial substantiates your claims. “The idea of purchasing our first home scared us because neither of us had the best credit. Sarah Jones assured us that she would hold our hand every step of the way, and find us a mortgage that would fit our budget. One month later we’re in the home of our dreams! Thank you Sarah!” – Bill and Karen Smith
- A good testimonial is from someone your audience can relate to. “When we found out we were expecting our daughter, we realized that we needed to move into a bigger place. Balancing this exciting new chapter of our lives with purchasing a home was made so much easier with the help of Sarah Jones.” – Bill and Karen Smith
- A good testimonial is credible. Always include a first and last name. “We would recommend Sarah Jones to anyone!” – Bill and Karen Smith
- A good testimonial endorses the key benefits of your product. “Sarah Jones’ 20 years of Real Estate experience give her so much valuable insight into the ins and outs of every detail of home-buying. It saved us so much stress and time.” – Bill and Karen Smith
- A good testimonial is comparative. “We spoke to a few other Realtors in the area before deciding on Sarah Jones. What really set her apart was her experience, calm demeanor and her comprehensive assessment of our needs.” – Bill and Karen Smith
Your new website from Winning Agent makes it easy to ask for testimonials online! You can download any number of contact forms (Gravity Forms is our favorite),and customize it for your brand and you’re all set to go!
Display your testimonials proudly on your personal website. They’re a true reflection of your professionalism and the value of doing business with you—and they provide prospects with the social proof they need to reach out to you!