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Why you need testimonials to persuade your customers

Everyone knows they need testimonials, but I recently saw a graphic example of how true this is. I have been helping a very smart client in their RFP process to select a vendor for their marketing campaign. The client looked at a half dozen different vendors and brought a handful in for in-person meetings.

One of them really stood out. Their technology seemed much better than anything we had seen before.

This is where it got interesting. The initial reaction from the client was that this agency seemed “too slick” and that the technology “seemed too good to be true.”

This is where marketing has brought us. The litany of overblown claims has exacted such a toll on our collective credulity that even a great vendor arouses suspicion more than admiration.

But this vendor had an ace in the hole–their testimonials. It was clear after speaking to a few of their clients that everything they told us was true. One client said this company was “by far” the best they had ever worked with.

What this means is that you could have the best offering of all of your competitors. You could have the best marketing and a great salesperson. But even if you do, some smart people will remain cynical, unless you have clients that will sing your praises to your prospects. If this company needs testimonials, everyone does. Including you.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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