This is how testimonials are destroying your sales

by sixpl
5 replies
Testimonials are essential to the success of your product or service. It allows the potential buyers to read the experiences of other users and make their buying decisions. It is a way of knowing what other customers feel about the products and services once they have bought and used them.

Testimonials are more powerful than advertisements as the readers get to know not just the pros but also the cons of the products. It is a potent weapon for selling a truly great product and differentiating it from the mediocre ones. You might be wondering if all that I have said so far talks positively about testimonials then why is the title of this blog talks about testimonials destroying your sales.

The answer to this question is that excess of anything is bad and harmful and so is the case with testimonials. But first, it's important to know the role of testimonials in the sale of products and services.

What role does a testimonial play?

Testimonials are nothing but feedback given for the products or services after they have been used by the buyers. They are a reflection of the user experiences and how they feel about it. So, basically, a testimonial is not a product review per se in its technical sense but the review of the product based on the experience of the users after they have used it.

It is the reason why having genuine testimonials helps businesses as they understand the pros and cons of their products. Where they have got it right and what needs improvements. It is a form of interaction among the customers who have used the products, the company and the potential buyers who would like to buy a product with similar features.

Remember the basics of marketing? Consumers pay for the value they perceive in a product. The value could be its utility, symbol of being cool or trendy or any other type of value. A testimonial is a way the users communicate whether the product they bought actually delivered the value they wanted. It is a description of their experiences.

Thus, the other potential buyers will be able to understand whether the product is likely to meet their expectations and if not, what is it that it lack? At the same time, it helps the company selling the product to understand how the end users perceive the product and brand.

A product might be brilliant, but if the users don’t see any value in it, then it’s useless. Testimonials are the reflections of how the customers who have used the products feel about it and businesses can take a cue from them to better what they are offering. And, here’s why the testimonials need to be genuine instead of a mere collage of appreciations for the product.

Customers prefer the Truth

Yes, it’s true! Customers prefer truth instead of made-up facts, and it’s the reason why they prefer products recommended by their acquaintances rather than solely depending on the advertisements. Your testimonials do exactly this, except these are given by the people not known to the potential buyers.

If a potential buyer suspects that something’s fishy and that your testimonials are cooked-up; they would refrain from buying the product.

A single doubt in their mind will divert them towards the competition, and you might lose out a potential sale. Instead, if they perceive the testimonial to be true, they are more likely to buy the product even if there are some drawbacks and deficiencies.

It is because customers are intelligent and know what they are paying for. They also know what to expect in the money they are spending. A buyer of a Toyota Camry wouldn’t expect the performance of a Mercedes-Benz. Therefore, if the testimonials on Toyota Camry portray it on par with a Mercedes-Benz car, the buyer would know it is all fake without an iota of doubt.

How fake testimonials can kill your sale

Continuing from the above example, let’s assume a customer wants to buy a budget smartphone. He already knows what he could expect in the given budget range. But, if he visits a website that has hundreds of positive testimonials all praising the product and just maybe a couple of them criticising its features, then the buyer would know something isn’t right. How is it possible that a budget smartphone can have no drawbacks? How can the battery life be the “best” for a phone in this price category or how can the camera quality be “awesome”?

The result - the customer would look for other products with similar features and price but with real testimonials. This is how fake testimonials can kill not just your product but even your brand. If it is detected that the testimonials for your product are made-up, it will completely destroy your reputation as an ethical brand.

How to use testimonials the right way

The best way to use testimonials to your advantage is to completely avoid faking them. Ask for genuine feedback from your customers about their experiences of using your product or service. Use these testimonials as customer engagement activities and try to understand the issues faced by them and clear their doubts. Don’t ask for testimonials from your friends, relatives and business associates. It will only make them look fake even if they are real, especially if your clients are aware that these are your associates or friends.

Testimonials are critical to the success of business as they reflect the actual experiences of your customers. But faking them can be counterproductive as the other potential customers will identify that they are made-up. It can severely affect your business and impact sales.

The right way to use to use testimonials to your advantage is, to be honest, and truthful. Customer experience is a subjective matter, and each client will perceive things differently. Some might like it others may not. Let their testimonials express their individual experiences and trust your potential customers to do the right thing instead of fudging data to attract them.
#destroying #sales #testimonials
  • Profile picture of the author Leli
    Having a decent number of good, honest, and accurate testimonials will ALWAYS boost your sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author AccountsMaster
      Originally Posted by Leli View Post

      Having a decent number of good, honest, and accurate testimonials will ALWAYS boost your sales.
      Yes, agree, but only if the testimonials are legit, honest and trusted.
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  • Profile picture of the author [RyanMilligan]
    It helps if these testimonials come from people well known in the niche as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author chemtechguru
    When I'm looking at a testimonial and weighing it for legitimacy/honesty I look for a few things...

    1) Picture of the person (do a quick Google image search to make sure the image isn't a ripoff)

    2) name and website information (if there is a website address linked to the testimonial, that is a VERY good thing and suggest legitimacy)

    3) email address (being able to contact the person directly is always a bonus)
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  • Profile picture of the author trobo
    I clicked on this thread because it piqued my curiosity:

    "This is how testimonials are killing your sales"

    I thought damn, really? I gotta read this because it goes against most conventional wisdom of what we're usually taught.

    Turns out he's talking about FAKE testimonials.

    Good informative post nonetheless, even if the headline is a little misleading.
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