Wrote this many years ago when I first started writing, I clean up a few things and added a few things to keep the blog current.
Clients are more skeptical than ever. How do you win the sale when your prospect knows nothing about you, your company or the excellent benefits that you and your company provide?
About eight months ago, I lost a sale for a wide format system. I lost because the customer was buying on price only, and of course I didn't have the lowest price.
A few days ago I received a phone call from that prospect asking me if I could come in and give him training on the wide format system that he leased from someone else (I thought WHAT!!!). At first I thought that I'd tell him I told you so and tell him that I'm not interested. However, I made the decision to give him some comp'd training. I'm always thinking and thought that this guy could help me in more ways than just buying a system from me.
When we finished I asked him for a referral/testimonial letter, he stated that it would not be a problem. A few days later I had my letter and it was a great one! The prospect basically stated that they should have bought the wide format system from me, and was sorry that they opted to buy on the "best price". They also stated that they had called in the original vendor for training (Direct Branch) and then another dealer and that both of them failed. The letter went on to state how well they were training by ME and they could now fully reap the benefits of the system that they had purchased.
Just as we always ask for the appointment, and ask for the order, we also need to ask for a testimonial letter from our clients (now we can ask for testimonials on LinkedIn). You can never have enough of these testimonials, because you never know who your prospect is connected with. A good time to present the testimonial can be when you submit your proposal, have one or two copies ready to go.
When was the last time you stopped in and the customer stated that they are enthralled with a certain feature or software and they don't understand how they ever did business without it. Hint, hint, that is your cue to ask for a letter, you can also ask for a letter after the system has been installed.
Ask and you shall receive.
Along with good selling skills, testimonial letters need to be a part of your every day sales life. Remember, new accounts know nothing about YOU and nothing about the skills and knowledge that YOU bring to the table.
Just to bring this up to date a bit, go through your linked in accounts, pick out 10 of them and ask them for a referral on LinkedIn. I did this awhile back and got all ten to post something on LinkedIn.
I got one more really cool thing that I do with email, you can find that here.