Do they care about what you do or how you do it?

Jon McCulloch, a brilliant English copywriter living in Ireland, made this point far more forcibly than I could. Here’s what Jon said about your customers:

” … there are many, many ways of boring your
audience: frazzling their brains with the
quintessential who-gives-a-shittedness of how long
you’ve been in business; telling them how bloody
“passionate” you are about their “success”, and
how many awards you have; yadda yadda yadda.

Seriously, no one cares. Not a bit.

What they care about is two things:

1. Themselves.

2. Being entertained.”

His point was brought home to me at a recent presentation by a vendor of a domestic water purification system. In stead of launching into the usual PowerPoint show, the presenter used water and chemicals to demonstrate what his system could do for my water. When he finished he answered questions. Nobody asked how large his company was, how many trucks it has, where it is located, how it does what it does, etc. They asked questions about water problems they had, or the cost of the system or how much space it needs. Things that they cared about. Problems they needed solved.

After the presentation I mentioned this to the presenter. He told me with a sheepish grin that the PowerPoint presentation he had planned to use had a couple of slides devoted to this information that no one cared about.

The lesson in all this – solve your customers problems if your want to keep them or get new customers.

Don’t bore them with your company’s history. They really don’t care.

Why you need Testimonials

When you’re thinking of buying some new expensive item like a Mac or camera what do you do?  You ask your friends about it. You trust what they say more than what the product vendor says. What’s the vendor going to say?  “Run, don’t look back.  Don’t buy this product if it were the last one on earth.”  Probably not.  They’re going to tell you all kind of wonderful things about their product in spite of it being the subject of a safety recall.  So you take your friend’s advice.

Now what’s the next thing you do?  You Google the product and read the reviews.  Some of these reviews will be good and some bad. If the good greatly outweigh the bad then you can move forward with confidence.  If there are far more bad ones, you also know what to do – Run.

Now between your friends’ advice and the reviews you will be able to make a decision because you obtained information from sources that do not have ulterior motives such as trying to get you to buy their product..

Now in your business, whether on line or off line, whether you’re selling a product or a service, don’t your prospective customers face the same dilemma – namely getting unbiased information about your business before they make a purchase?  Of course, they do.  So how can you help them?

You can include positive reviews on your web site.  These are called testimonials.  A testimonial is a third party endorsement of your product or service.  People tend to believe testimonials  before they believe you.  Why? Once again, what are you going to say?

I can hear you whining, “sounds like a good idea but how do I get testimonials?”  You get them the same way you get most things in life – you ASK for them.  “But How?” you whine.

There are at least two ways to get testimonials.  One requires no effort on the part of your customer and one requires a little effort.

The first way is to review all those e-mails your customers has been sending you and find some positive statements about you, your product or service.  Copy these and paste them into an e-mail to you customer and ask if you can use them as testimonials.  Always ask.  It’s the right thing to do and shows you respect your customer’s privacy. Most of the time they will say yes.  Pop them on your website under a new navigation item “Testimonials” and you’re off to a good start.

The second way is to send your customer a letter (snail mail) or an e-mail asking them 4 or 5 short questions the answers to which you tell them you would like to use as testimonials.  They will not always respond but when they do you have one or more solid testimonials that you can add to your website.

That’s all there is to it.  Nothing complicated just some Action on your part.