This Kind Of Testimonial Sends People Running For The Exits

A woman seated next to me chimed into a conversation with a friend.

“I couldn’t help overhear. Did you say you were working with “ABC” kitchen designers?”
“Yes, we just had our consultation. Why? Have you used them?” I asked
“No. We are considering them but I wanted to hear some feedback first.”

That brief exchange started a discussion about contractors in our area. As luck would have it, she had experience with another contractor we interviewed.

She blasted them for the dismal experience. Based on her story we pulled them from consideration.

It shows you the power of social proof. I never met this woman before. Our kids just happened to attend the same birthday party.

This is not the usual fake social proof you see on the internet.

“Dude. You gotta buy this. Mind blowing. It’s so awesome.”

The Story That Had Me Running For The Exits

This was a punch in the gut kind of social proof. Here’s a recap of her experience.

“We ordered windows from them. They came and did measurements. Somehow, they ordered the wrong sizes. They did not realize it until they removed three of our windows. Our street facing first floor had to be boarded up for three weeks while we waited for the right size to arrive. It looked like a condemned house from the street. I was in tears.”

How can you ignore a story like that? See how she mentioned the measurements and ordering of the wrong sizes? Then, she mentioned three windows removed. The specificity makes it sound plausible.

It also packs emotion. When she mentioned the “street facing first floor boarded up,” I cringed to think how I would feel in that situation. She wrapped up by telling me she was in tears. A picture of her experience formed in my head. I could identify with that.

Maybe She Lied

For all I know, this woman lied through her teeth. Maybe she had an unrelated personal vendetta against this contractor. Humans, for the most part, trust each other until we have a reason to distrust. I take her at her word. It made me take action.

Her social proof caused a negative reaction.

Positive social proof packs the same powerful punch. We all benefit from it no matter what you do for a living. Business owners, teachers, writers, consultants and even employees can exploit its influence.

How do you get social proof that persuades? Pay attention to this.

How To Ask For Testimonials

When you ask for testimonials from your happy customers, make sure it includes specifics. It makes your proof more plausible.

Ask them to include how they felt when it ended. A story you transcribe from them works best.

It tells prospects they can expect the same results. It tells them indirectly as opposed to you making a direct claim. A conclusion your prospect makes herself packs more power than you telling her what to believe.

Finally, ask for feedback. Do not fear it. We like recommending others who serve us well. It makes us feel good to exert that kind of influence.

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