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Show Them What You’re Made Of

Many of us are great at what we do, and the very fact that you’re reading this article now demonstrates your desire to continue to grow.

However, many of us do a great job of keeping our fantastic track record a secret from potential customers.

Sporting greats are judged by what they achieve on the field or the court, and clubs recruit new managers based on their previous results. The same can be said when businesses or individuals are looking for new suppliers.

If you can demonstrate to potential clients that you’ve done a fantastic job for others in the past, it goes a long way toward suggesting you’ll do a good job for them, too.

This means more than having testimonials hidden away on your website, in a filing cabinet or in a folder in your bottom drawer with your customer letters. In this day and age, social proof is one of the most convincing strengths you have, and growing your social proof can contribute enormously in helping you win more business.

The distribution of your social proof is important, of course. However, before you can showcase it, you must ensure that you collect it in the first place.

The first bit of advice I’d like to give is that if you don’t ask, you definitely don’t get. We’re all busy people and taking the time to say nice things about each other is rarely at the top of our list; therefore, we have to help bump it up the list for those in our network.

Asking right after you’ve delivered your product or service is likely to bring you a better response than requesting a review after that moment has passed.

Asking in a format that makes it easy for them is also highly likely to lead to a better outcome. Personally, the venues that have worked best for us are video and, of course, LinkedIn.

Just asking will bring you huge results, but being prepared will help even further. The ability to record video on the spot will have you leaps and bounds ahead of your competition, and asking at every opportunity will give you tons of great video footage to showcase what others say about you.

Once you get good at asking you’ll have so much content that you’ll want (and need) to get it in front of people.

These are some of our best practices. They’ve had fantastic results, and could work for you too:

• Point people from emails to your LinkedIn profile to read recommendations

  • Leave written testimonials in a folder in the office reception
  • Photograph written testimonials and post them on Facebook
  • Distribute video testimonials across social networks
  • Encourage others to post their positive comments on Facebook and Twitter
  • Update website testimonials as often as possible and ensure that they’re easily visible
  • Utilize others’ words in your marketing literature

The simple lesson in all of the above is to put your social proof in front of as many people as possible. However, the real trick is to ensure that every testimonial can be traced back to its source.

Ensuring that your future customers can see the credibility of your social proof will add to its effectiveness, which makes it all worthwhile.