How To Get Your Customers Selling For You

By: Dan Kennedy on: January 29th, 2010 10 Comments

Previously, I discussed a specific type of word-of-mouth advertising that I call “testimonial marketing” and I gave you specific examples of how entrepreneurs use if effectively. Now I want to talk to you about the application of this strategy.

Number one geographic target marketing and number two customer category target marketing. Let’s use a print shop as an example of both types of testimonial marketing.

A print shop happens to have two architect firms as loyal regular, satisfied customers. Here would be the astute extension marketing strategy; prepare a mailing to all the other architect firms in the area showing and telling that we have these architects as satisfied customers.

The mailing might include pictures of those architects. Comments from them and a list of the types of work being done for them. That would be target marketing by customer type. One architect leads to another. Sales trainer, Joel Beck, teaches sales people about this process and about referrals with this analogy. How do ducks go to water? One behind the other.

Now let’s say our print shop also has several loyal, regular, satisfied customers with stores and offices in the same complex, say the 5th Street Center.  An astute marketing strategy would be to contact all the other tenants of the 5th Street Center and show and tell about the satisfied customers that we have there. Your prospective customers and clients can best judge you and can be motivated to judge you by the customers you already have.

Most businesses use this third party influence factor far less and far less effectively than they could and should. I urge you to constantly look for ways that you can utilize the influence of your present customers to attract additional customers.

An extension of this to personal selling, by the way, is that stories sell, facts only tell. If you’re involved in person to person or group selling situations you’ll improve your closing effectiveness by telling more third-party stories.

Which is more effective: my telling you that 97,483 businesses have purchased my Magnetic Marketing System, which is a fact, or telling you a true story about Bob Smith in Boston who was in the same business as you are who bought the System and doubled his business in 90 days by implementing four of the strategies I teach in my Magnetic Marketing System ?

Most people will be moved more by the story than the fact. Stories sell, facts tell. This is just one more argument, incidentally, in favor of valuing your customer and staying close to the customer. By knowing your customers you gain stories and testimonials that are useful in selling successfully to others.

Stimulating word-of-mouth advertising, stimulating referrals and using testimonials effectively are exciting and effective marketing strategies. In most cases, you have opportunities to use these strategies with very small costs compared to most other marketing methods.

I personally know of many businesses in many different fields that have affected dynamic, dramatic increases in sales using these strategies. One of the big dangers in attracting new business is spending so much in the pursuit that you win the game and still lose money.

What I call lazy passive advertising and marketing like running billboards and running ads is expensive. It’s important to balance the necessary but expensive advertising you do with much lower cost, active marketing using these strategies.

There is even one more virtue to attracting new business from referrals and the use of testimonials. The referred customer is most likely to become a source of more referrals. He got there as a result of a referral so he’s already been conditioned to refer. The client who’s motivated to do business with you as a result of others testimonials is most likely to give you a testimonial letter or comment you can use. The more you use these strategies the more profitable your business will be.

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Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

10 Responses

  1. Rob Anspach says:

    A smart entrepreneur uses testimonials as a credibility builder… and as such uses the testimonial in its fullest form.

    ” Dan Kennedy is my hero, the marketing guru I aspire to be” – Rob Anspach, Conestoga PA

    Now if Dan was not a savvy marketer he might use the testimonial but limitattions…he would change my name to only the initials “R.A” and drop the city and state…
    losing all credibility… to which people will think the testimonial is made up and it loses the power to attract.

  2. Donna Kopf says:

    I’m adding “Stories sell. Facts tell.” to my post-it note “motivational art” mural that “decorates” my home office.

    Thanks to Ron for pointing out the flaws with abbreviation after testimonials!

  3. Charles Ra says:

    Stimulating word-of-mouth advertising, stimulating referrals and using testimonials effectively are exciting and effective marketing strategies. In most cases you have opportunities to use these strategies with very small costs compared to most other marketing methods.

    great article to start implementing referrals n testimonials in my marketing.
    thanks Dan

  4. I worked for several years for a Yellow Pages publisher and had the frustrating experience of witnessing up-close-and-personal on a several-times-a-day basis the single biggest collection of examples of “lazy passive advertising and marketing” of all time.

    I now make it my personal mission to help as many business owners as possible break free of this “blur of sameness” to stand out using Glazer-Kennedy strategies.

    Definitely an uphill battle — the overwhelming majority of business owners doesn’t know that they are REALLY in the business of MARKETING their goods/services, and want nothing more than to simply be “doers” of their business category.

    And as you point out, Dan, my best weapons in this battle are the stories I tell of unfortunate business owners who insist on placing boring, plain, “same old” ads and therefore live in constant frustration at their uninspiring results…

    The good news? There is a HUGE market for business owners who need GKIC advice that actually works!

  5. Testimonials sell…

    Testimonials with actual numbers (“I made $66,451 in January following Dan’s Advice…) work even better….

    And now, LinkedIn has made it even easier then ever to get testimonials without having to hassle your customers to give you one….

    (Note to Brian- if I get the honor of guest blogging on this site I’ll explain that in excruciating detail! :)

  6. Les Rose says:

    With LinkedIn you have to be careful when making reciprocal testimonial.
    I’ve visited quite a few profiles where you see a guy given a testimonial on the left, and the profile holder giving an almost identical one back, on the right !
    That breaks all credibility.

    I even saw a pre-recommend . That’s where you see the testimonial that starts ” I haven’t started to work with X yet, but…..” Crazy but true.

    Credibility is the key, it’s human nature that if you see one obvious fake testimonial, you lose faith with all the others. It’s the quality and credibility that counts, not the quantity.

  7. Good point, Les.

    When someone leaves a reciprocal testimonial, and has 20 or 30 testimonials that people gave him and they give one back.. that is a giveaway that something is wrong.

    always look to see if the person has testimonials that are NOT reciprocal… some will be, but if most or all of them are, stay away….

  8. When you’ve got clients braggin’ on you it certainly does make it easier to sell. I know and I am grateful!

  9. whenever you hear a good word from a client, and the setting is appropriate, whip out your mp3 recorder and ask… do you mind repeating that for me so I can record your testimonial?

    impressive, results driven, story-telling testimonials are the absolute highest form of marketing+validation!

  10. I’ve got an Olympus digital voice recorder, myself.

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