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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Power in an Outside Voice

      Today's tip of the week comes from an inspirational post from Jon Gordon. I subscribe to his newsletter and today's newsletter was titled The Power of an Outside Voice and it had nothing to do with volume. According to his Facebook page Jon Gordon is a speaker and bestselling author. He helps organizations develop positive engaged leaders and winning teams. He shared what a CEO told him after he had just spoken with this company. " Jon, never underestimate the power of an outside voice. We brought you in here to reinforce our message" he said, "Our folks get tired of hearing us say it but when it comes from and outside voice it's new, fresh and exciting." we can all understand this statement, especially if you're a parent. Sometimes the people you are trying to influence with your message have you on mute. Bring in however, an outside influence, even with the same exact message and all of a sudden the ear buds come out. The newsletter goes on to state how important it is to bring outside messengers to your team, so here's the twist. From a marketing position you can apply this to your marketing message by way of outside voices called testimonials. If over 45% of purchases made are through a social media recommendation now is the time to harness the power of your fans. A glowing endorsement from a client can be worth a years advertising budget. Potential clients ears will perk up when they hear a testimonial. Imagine how your message may sound over and over to the same audience. Change it up with client feedback.

       So how do you get this valuable feedback? Obviously approaching first time clients may throw them off. You might want to wait till they have visited a few times, timing is everything. You can solicit feedback via verbal comments, emails, thank you notes and customer surveys. When you are nurturing these valuable client relationships by offering outstanding service most customers would be thrilled to give you a glowing report if you asked. Here are a few things to consider to get the most benefit from these raving fans. Always get their permission before using any one's words. Never rewrite their testimonial without their approval. Include their name, job title and company, even a picture helps. You can get different types of testimonials like written, audio or video. While written are the most frequently used audio and video testimonials have proven to be more effective. Not everyone is a great writer. You can coach them, especially if they say they don't know what to say! Offer a few examples of others you have gotten to help get positive results. Make sure they are specific. Yes they had a nice service but what specifically made it really special? Steamed towels? Custom blend colors? Fast efficient service with no waiting? Think about what other clients might find attractive about your business that meets their needs, or solves their problems. Some recommend at least 12 business testimonials so be proactive. As an example I'll include one of my unsolicited testimonials from a fan.

    Hi, Millie!
              I ordered your new marketing book a few weeks ago and I have not been able to put it down! I am enjoying all of the great ideas and am ready to kick things up a notch or two. I just wanted to say thanks for all that you do and for sharing and giving such inspiration. I also appreciated the little handwritten note that you added to the first page of the book I ordered. Nobody I know does that, but it was a great surprise and made my day! Thanks again!

Carrie Sanders

Topeka, KS

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