How to Give Your Small Business a Quick and Big Credibility Boost

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How to Give Your Small Business a Quick and Big Credibility Boost | Episode 27

When it comes to running a business of any kind, the level of trust your customers and prospective customers have in you has a direct correlation to your sales.
So, what can you do to get a quick and big credibility boost?

I want to let you in on something that’s going to have a big impact on growing not only your businesses' trust but ultimately, your sales.
You know when you have a great product or service that your current customers love? Well, how do you get more people to trust that your offer is as good as you say and that it will meet their expectations?

Research and experience has found that the number one thing that will build trust and influence buying decisions is testimonials. Yes, those glowing words from your customers will help prospective customers decide whether you’re the business that can help them. 

 In this episode you’ll hear:

  • The importance of the questions you ask in a testimonial interview 
  • Examples of great questions to ask clients and customers
  • The most effective ways to get amazing testimonials
  • Where you should use your testimonials
  • How to make sure your testimonials target the right audience

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And a big thank you to MegsJB6 for their wonderful review:
“Nicci knows her stuff and is really easy to listen to. Super helpful. I’ve already started implementing some ideas into my business”

 Transcript

Nicci O’Mara

When it comes to running a business of any kind, the level of trust your customers and prospective customers have in you, has a direct correlation to your sales. But if you haven’t spent the past 40 years building some solid credibility and trust in your business because your business didn’t even exist back then, what can you do to get a quick and big credibility boost?

Stay tuned and I’ll give you the complete rundown so that you can start building trust with your prospective customers today. 

Hello and welcome to the SSOM podcast. I’m loving having you back again listening to the show and hope that you’ve discovered some amazing tips and strategies to grow your small business.

Today I want to let you in on something you can do that’s going to have a big impact on growing trust in your business and ultimately sales, using as little as an hour of your time and a phone.

You know you’ve got this great product or service that your current customers love, but how do you get more people to trust that your offer is as good as you say it is and that it will meet their expectations? 

You can do all the social media posts, advertising and emailing you want, but hardly anyone is going to take your word for it. And if you haven’t already built trust and credibility with them, you’re going to have one hell of a battle getting them to buy. 

There are way too many businesses out there today that promise the world and deliver sub-standard products or services. People are sick of being letdown.

Think about your own industry and all the businesses in it that aren’t doing the right thing by their customers, whether it be giving them bad advice, low quality products or services that are a waste of time and money. I know there are way too many of them in the marketing industry.

On top of all that, there are a fast growing number of seriously dodgy or should I say fraudulent businesses out there that look legitimate which makes people even more jaded when it comes to trusting businesses. 

Now more than ever, you need to build trust.

My teenage son was so excited the other day when he told he’d won a $150 mountain biking prize from a business on Instagram with 50,000 followers. Having seen so many people being ripped off, I wanted to make sure it was legit. Having a quick look, it looked like the real deal. To make a long story short, it wasn’t. The lengths they’d gone to, to make it look trustworthy were incredible and it took gut instinct and a hell of a lot of digging to prove to my son that they were after the $30 postage money he’d have to pay to get his prize, and that he would likely end up with a few stickers if he was lucky.

Plenty of people think that having big follower numbers on social media will be the most effective way to build trust. Yes, having 20,000 followers should get you a second look but it’s not going to build trust. Why? Because most people know it’s so easy to buy followers these days and that there are way too many businesses who do it. And just before you start thinking it’s a good idea… it’s not and never will be. 

So what is the most effective way to build trust? 

Research and experience has found that the number one thing that will build trust and influence buying decisions is testimonials.

Yes, those glowing words from your customers that help prospective customers decide whether you’re the business that can help them. They give real customers the opportunity to advocate for your brand, helping to build higher levels of trust and creditability than you could on your own.

Before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re on the same page when we’re referring to testimonials, because a testimonial and a review are similar but are two very different things.

A testimonial is usually more in-depth, is provided directly to you instead of to a third-party, you use it in your marketing and need to ask for permission to do so. Testimonials, unlike reviews are generally always positive because the business has control over who it asks for a testimonial and what it publishes.

Reviews have an important role to play for many businesses, especially e-commerce and retail businesses. But today is all about the power of testimonials and how easy it can be to build customer trust in your business when you know the right questions to ask, know how to get great testimonials and how to amplify them and get the most value out of them once you’ve got them.

So let’s go through the 3 steps you need to know so you can give your small business a quick and big credibility boost.

The first thing you need to know is what questions to ask, because if you want great answers that are truly going to build trust, you need to ask great questions. There are too many testimonials out there that the target audience don’t relate to and are useless in achieving their goal. I certainly don’t want you wasting your time getting testimonials that are worthless. 

A key area to focus on in your testimonials is to find out from your customers, in their own words, the result or transformation that they got from your product or service. You’re not just looking for a  pat on the back here.

When we’re doing testimonial interviews for us or our clients, we have a bank of questions to choose from. It makes doing the interviews so much quicker, easier, and more effective, and ensures that there’s no putting it off. 

Here are a few great questions to get you started that work really well. Just make sure you’re specific and add in the name of the product or service into the questions.

  • What was your biggest problem before you started working with us or bought our product?
  • What were the biggest benefits or specific results you gained from… completing the course, using the equipment, feeding your baby our food, etc? 
  • OR get really specific and ask something like: How has our pilates program benefited your mobility?
  • How much did your revenue/claims/customers increase or decrease as a result of [our product/service]?
  • If you were to recommend [our product/service] to your best friend, what would you tell them?
  • Why did you make the switch to us?
  • What is one thing we could improve? 

You only need to ask around three or four questions but you need to read the room and decide how many questions is right for each client.

Now that you know what questions to ask, you need to find the best way to get great testimonials.

How you get them will all depend on your type of business and the number of customers you have. For high-end service-based businesses, sending them a link to a survey when you’ve just completed a big project just isn’t going to cut it. And on the other end of the scale, you’re not going to personally interview every customer who bought a $50 shirt. 

Remember these are testimonials we’re talking about, not reviews, so you don’t want them from every single client or customer.

The ultimate way to get great testimonials is by phone, video or in-person. The easier you make it on your customer, and the more tailored the questions, the more likely you are to get a response. 

I’ve found that if you ask someone for a written testimonial most times people are eager to supply you with one, but they don’t ever get around to doing it. So make that call and get a testimonial worth sharing.

So how do you now turn these conversations into testimonials? You need to record and transcribe them and then pick out the best bits. It’s so easy to do nowadays just about anyone could work it out. Just make sure you tell the person beforehand that you’re going to record your conversation and that they agree to it - otherwise you might land yourself in legal hot water.

We’ve talked about what questions to ask and how to get the most effective testimonials, now here is the final piece of the puzzle… where you should use these testimonials to get the most out of them.

The first place you need to make sure you have testimonials is on your website. Don’t just shove them all on the one page and leave it at that. You can’t rely on people being interested enough to go to your testimonial page. Make sure you have them throughout your website. You can still have customer success or what our clients say page, but having someone talking about a product or service on that particular web page is gold.

Let’s talk about a few other tips for how you can amplify them.

Take your testimonials and put them on a branded graphic using Canva or similar and share them regularly on your social media channels.

If you’re creating a brochure, new web page, ad or sales email, add a relevant testimonial. For written testimonials, including a photo of the person giving the testimonial provides more credibility and impact. But if you can’t get one - don’t make that a show stopper.

Be sure to check over your testimonials at least every 12 months to check that they are still relevant and haven’t aged. There’s nothing worse than readying an out-of-date testimonial. It’ll do more harm than good.

So did you catch all that? For those of you driving, cooking dinner or taking the dog for a walk, I’ve transcribed this episode for you and put it up on my website simplystandoutmarketing.com so you’ve got it to refer to.  

Now that you have your three steps to getting great testimonials - the questions to ask, how to get great answers and what to do with your amazing testimonials - it’s time you go and take action and get a testimonial. So go and write down some questions, pick up the phone and start asking. 


 Thanks so much for listening. If you love what you’ve just heard, please share this podcast with your friends, family, and colleagues.

The Simply Standout Marketing Podcast is designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs stand out and grow their businesses. Because growing their business will change their life.

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