04 - Why testimonials work with those who are ready to take action

Why testimonials and case studies work best with BUYERS

The reason my testimonials are so powerful is because they connect with someone precisely at the time the person is thinking about acting. In today's hyper-connected world, with our phones at our fingertips, if we have a problem then we can oftentimes find a solution right on the phone.

But oftentimes we make differentiations between the service providers we are going to select, and this is true even at an organizational level and even at a government level. We want to make sure that we're calling the right place. We want to make sure that we're not going to be wasting our time with a particular office.

If you've ever gone to a DMV or Department of Motor Vehicles office that gets a better review, or you've gone across town because you know that at this particular office the service doesn't get very good ratings and you go to the one across the town because you know that they have better service there. It's true even with the government.

So let me walk you through the problem-awareness cycle to understand why testimonials connect at the specific point where someone's getting out their phone and they're ready to make a comparison among who they should be calling to provide the service.

Let's say I get up this morning and I go out to my car. I am unaware that there are any problems with my car so therefore, I don't have to worry about any solutions. But as I get in the car and put the key in the ignition nothing happens... so instantly I have a problem... but now I don't know what the solution is to my problem.

I pull out my phone and search... as I become more knowledgeable about this I might search on my phone and say the make model of my car and check the battery. OK, I checked the battery. Now I know that the reason my car won't start is because my battery is dead. At this point, I know what the problem is and why the car won't start. And now I know what the solution is is I need to get a jumpstart on the car.

This is the point where I take action to engage somebody to come out and jump my car... so let's say I didn't have roadside assistance and I need to compare between tow truck companies. Well, this is where a testimonial comes in and the business or organization that has testimonials, even if it's a very short testimonial will win.

People are more likely to choose the business that demonstrates an understanding of that problem and competence to solve that problem over one that does not. That's why testimonials are so powerful... because once somebody gets to knowing what the problem is and knowing what the solution is they're ready to act on choosing a provider to solve that problem… to come and jumpstart the car.

Having testimonials can be the difference between being chosen and being passed over. And that's why they're so powerful and so effective so testimonials and case studies are really powerful from another perspective as well. Let's see another way to leverage case studies and testimonials using our tow truck example:

Let's say we've gone out to our car... we sit down. We put the key in the ignition turn the key. Nothing happens. Realize we have that dead battery. We call that tow truck company.

Let's talk about the motivation for calling the tow truck company... we might say the motivation is: we have to go to work...  That may be true, but let's go a bit deeper. What I'm going to propose is that there are actually the three main motivations behind wanting to go to work... because we realize that if we're not able to get to work then we are going to be impacted in one of the following areas:

The first one is we're going to be losing power because if we're late for work and if we're late for work repetitively or if we have an important meeting to go to and we miss that meeting are we going to gain power or lose power within our organization?

The second motivator is affiliation... if we're constantly late or if we're late for an important meeting is that going to increase or decrease our positive affiliation with our coworkers, our clients, and our colleagues?

The third motivator is competence. If your car doesn't start and you show up late for this appointment or meeting, is that going to make you appear more or less competent?

The best part is all of these motivators can be bundled and collapsed into this question: “is being late for work because my car can't start going to increase or decrease my social standing?”

The reason I'm getting into these details: even a tow truck company that can connect with someone on the understanding of “hey this is we're doing more than just helping you start your car here. We're helping you get to work so that you can make it to that meeting so that you can show up refreshed and ready to go with your colleagues and your co-workers so that you can increase your social standing.” They're not going to say that but if they can show an understanding that this is more than just turning a key and starting an ignition, then they win.

The challenge is, how does a tow truck company do that on their own? It's really challenging for them to convey this perspective on their own… but a testimonial can do it for them. A testimonial story or a case study, even if it's very brief, can create a story detailing how this executive was not able to get to work one day. How she couldn‘t start the car, and she had to drop the kids off and lo-and-behold xyz tow truck company came out and they saved the day for her...

And as a result of that, she was able to go throughout that day stress-free and show up as she needed to for those appointments. It's a lot easier for her to convey all of those points than it is for that tow truck company to do it. And you can see how important that is because those are things that we resonate with versus: “we have an ASC certified mechanic.”  They understand why this is important to me. That's the power of case studies and testimonials.

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