According to Sean D'Souza, the vast majority of marketers have testimonials all wrong.
Instead of writing a bunch of flowery speech about how wonderful the product or service is and how it's perhaps the greatest invention since the whoopee cushion, he advocates leading a testimonial with something negative.
Here are two examples so you can see what he means:
“I love the ABC product because it makes my website look like a million dollar designer built it and I get compliments all the time that it looks so professional ...”
“I really didn't think ABC product would make a difference in my website, and I certainly couldn't justify the investment the way my business was losing money ...”
Which testimonial do you believe so far?
And which one would you keep reading?
When your testimonials read of sugar and spice and everything AMAZINGLY nice, your prospects are going to be highly skeptical, as they should be. No product is perfect and no service does everything really well, and they know it.
Think about the last restaurant recommendation (which is a testimonial) you got from a friend. Odds are it went something like this:
“You know that place that looks like a dive in the industrial section next to the U-Haul on Riverside Drive? Well, they've converted it into a Thai restaurant, and while the ambiance is pretty lousy, the food is excellent and fresh and the prices are really reasonable. Plus the waitress is super friendly and she gave each of us spring rolls for free, too, because it was our first visit. We can't wait to go back.”
Now that's how a real life testimonial reads. There's good and bad in telling both sides of the story, and because of that, it's totally believable.
Plus, when it starts out with, “You know that place that looks like a dive...” you're anxious to hear the rest. How does this end? Lousy experience? Great experience? Did the speaker get mugged? What happened?
It's now a story and you're not going anywhere until you hear how it turns out.
When you craft your testimonials this same way, two things will happen:
First, people will actually READ your testimonials.
Second, people will BELIEVE your testimonials and thus they'll be influenced to a far greater degree than if you had made them 100% positive. Test it out for yourself and see the results.