Issue Date: Sales Success June 1, 2010, Posted On: 6/14/2010
Sales Tips Never underestimate the power of customer testimonials If you are not using testimonials to boost your auto sales career, you are missing out on one of the most useful sales tools ever. Testimonials work because they reaffirm for others what you already know is true. They are a form of word-of-mouth communication, which influences three quarters of all purchasing decisions.
Here are some tips for garnering more valuable testimonials:
Listen: When you're following up with customers, does anyone ever share a story about how much they enjoy their new vehicle? Check your email. Has anyone ever sent you a note just to say "thanks for the great work?" Have you ever received good feedback from a customer who responded to a CSI survey? Each of those is a testimonial, just waiting for you to act on it.
Ask: When a customer says good things about you, about your work or the vehicles you sell, give them the opportunity to turn that praise into a testimonial. Simply ask: "I'd really love it if I could include what you just said in my client testimonials. Would that be okay?" People generally like to be helpful to other people, but they'll never get that opportunity to give you that all-powerful testimonial if you don't ask first.
New customers are more enthusiastic: Get on the phone and call your newest customers. The most passionate praise you'll find for your work tends to come from customers with whom you have only recently started doing business.
Repeat customers offer insight: Your repeat customers provide important insight about what makes you and your dealership worth coming back to. Again, all you have to do is ask.
Make it easy: One of the most common comments you'll hear from customers when asking for testimonials is "Well I'm really not much of a writer, so it's hard for me to put it in words." The real power of testimonials comes from the fact that they're authentic and from the heart.
Return the favor: Write testimonials for others with whom you do business and whose services have impressed you. It's a good thing to do. It also helps to deepen reciprocal relationships.
Blow your own horn: As you build your collection of testimonials, you'll need to find a place where people can read them. Not only can you put them all in a binder to show prospects, you can create your own web page devoted to testimonials. Another approach is to include a new testimonial on the signature line of every outbound email.