Last Updated on April 7, 2017Almost daily I receive an email or a letter from one of our member agents wanting me to evaluate their “marketing.” And in the process of looking at their “stuff,” I find that the most important “element” necessary to capture a client is COMPLETELY MISSING. Here’s the problem: Think about the last BIG purchase you made in your life. It could have been a car, a big screen TV…or even a boat or airplane. Now…before you made that purchase, didn’t you do a little homework to make sure you were buying the RIGHT “THING”? Didn’t you at least want to “feel” that you were making a smart purchase decision? Of course you did. No one wants to buy a lemon. No one wants to get ripped off. We all search for PROOF and EVIDENCE beforehand that our purchase will be the best possible choice. So what makes you think your prospects and clients look at YOU any differently? Here’s an important revelation: People want to know they’re working with the very best, most competent and professional agent around. But they DON’T want to hear it from you. Your own claims about yourself hold no credibility because anyone can toot their own horn. That’s why you need to provide them the proof and evidence they need to make you the overwhelming choice. That’s why you need to be harvesting and using TESTIMONIALS and social proof of your service quality. Think about the effort and money you expend to generate a client. Most agents are huffing, puffing, straining and spending to convey their unique marketing message to prospects and clients – while keeping your very best “salespersons” (i.e. testimonials) locked in the darkness…out of sight. Having good testimonials and not using them is like having a 100-person sales force motivated and willing to go to work for you – but you’ve got them on permanent vacation. So let me show you how to get and use testimonials, and start reaping big profits in your business…
5 Profit-Making Tips for Getting And Using Testimonials in Your BusinessTip #1: “How do you get testimonials? Well, the answer is easy. It starts with your commitment and willingness to get them. Once you make the decision you’re gonna go after them, the rest is almost an afterthought. No kidding. The first step is to put the “testimonial gathering process” into your business sequence. What does this mean? It means that sending a testimonial request letter should be part of your post-closing checklist…right next to “send a closing gift” and “change the home status in MLS”. The second step is simply to ASK. The trick is when and how to ask. I personally recommend asking for testimonials immediately after a successful close – especially if it was a difficult close that required a lot of your attention and skill to complete successfully. This is the time when your client’s “happy gas” is flowing and they’re really excited about buying or selling their home. Tip #2: How do you ask? That’s simple too. Create a simple one page letter (with a second sheet attached for their testimonial) that explains WHY you want a testimonial. Open your letter with something like: Dear [client name]… “In today’s world it’s difficult to know who’s a true professional…who you can trust…and who’s most competent to help with your home buying/selling needs. My strategy is not to talk about myself or my company, but to share comments about my service performance from my best clients. And that’s why I’m writing to you today. Would you mind sharing some of your thoughts about your experience in working with me? Your comments will help others who were in your situation to better understand why I am their best choice for real estate services.” Next, you’ll want to lead them into how they should write their testimonial – so you get strong comments. Do this by sharing questions with them: How much money did I save you? Did I help make the process easier for you? Was my knowledge helpful? Did I go above and beyond to help you? The more specific they make their testimonial, the better. Next, you want to include with your request a Pre-Address, PRE-STAMPED envelope so they can simply drop their comments back to you (and by enclosing the pre-stamped envelope, they’re not about to throw a good stamp in the trash – so they’ll be more motivated to fill it out. Psychology, my friend.). And here’s another idea: A lot of our smart agents will meet their clients and take a photo of them in front of their new (or now-sold) home. Then they’ll ask for a few comments they can use. Now you have a photo, AND a comment – even more power. Tip #3: Make your testimonials believable. Don’t get a great testimonial and weaken it by putting their first and last initials. It causes skepticism in the reader. Put as much information as you can get away with in your testimonials: first and last name, photo, city, state…some agents even put in their client’s phone number. WOW! That’s a real, believable testimonial, don’t you think? Tip #4: Accumulate as many testimonials as you possibly can. You can never have too many testimonials. Also, your testimonials will each demonstrate a different benefit or experience people had with you. So you can sort your testimonial bank by the type of benefit people received from you: Saved time, saved money, arranged special financing, solved a specific problem, revealed how you are different, etc. Tip #5: When you get ’em, FLAUNT ’em. Don’t be shy with your testimonials. Use them in as many places as you can imagine. Want a few ideas to stimulate your noggin? OK, how about…
- Use them in your ads, farming letters, post cards, articles you write, etc.
- Put them on your business cards, stationary, and other visible places.
- Put them on the wall in your office: create a “Wall of Fame”.
- Use them in all your sales letters – especially farming letters or newsletters.
- Integrate testimonials into your listing presentation – many agents use a “success book” that’s a 3-ring book of testimonials they leave with their client after their presentation (if they don’t get the listing right there). It’ll force you to go back, plus your clients will be amazed at all the positive comments and benefits (PROOF!) of working with you.
- Use testimonials on your web site. One agent had a great testimonial she used as the headline of her home page! It said (I’m paraphrasing): “You Are the Only Agent I Would Trust for Our Real Estate Needs…”