The most powerful sales and marketing tool that builds attendance or helps new exhibitors and sponsors sign on the dotted line is a targeted testimonial.
Author and speaker Jeff Gitomer said it best: “When you say it about yourself, it’s bragging. When somebody else says it about you, it’s proof!”
Most organizations use testimonials as part of their marketing strategy but fail to implement them to their full advantage.
Take a look at these testimonials
- “The ABC conference was the best conference that I attended last year.”
- “The trade show delivered significant ROI for our company.”
- “XYZ provided exceptional customer service.”
Add Benefit Statements And Value Added Phrases To Increase Testimonial Impact
Yes, it’s nice to share this kind of praise. Adding specific benefits or value-added items to these testimonials is even nicer. By going a little deeper, you can deliver a message with greater impact:
Now consider these testimonials
- “The ABC conference was very rewarding for me professionally. I brought back ideas for new sales strategies that have increased my production by more than 10 percent. I can’t wait to join you in Orlando next year.”
- “The trade show delivered twice as many qualified leads as any other show we participated in last year. We had steady traffic, great quality leads, and plan to expand our presence at next year’s event.”
- “We used ABC Company for the last five years, but switched to XYZ for our 2010 event. Now we realize what exceptional customer service is like. We only wish we would have switched our vendors sooner.”
Use Targeted Testimonials For Specific Audience Segments
Smart marketers target testimonials to the audience that they are trying to attract. By segmenting your audience, you can deliver targeted, persuasive messaging. For example a specific campaign and testimonials to attract first-time attendees can improve results. Always include the company and individual’s name and title to increase credibility.
Use Case Studies, Personal Stories And YouTube Videos For Testimonials
Using case studies, participant’s stories and YouTube videos can crank your testimonials up a few notches. These types of testimonials can help accelerate the sale, reduce risk, add credibility to your pitch and help a potential attendee justify attendance. Consider these tips:
- Use the words “case study” in the title and subject line. It gets people’s attention.
- Profile the customer, including industry, size of organization and title.
- Include a photo of the client, photo from the convention or client logo with case studies and participant stories.
- Identify real business issues, challenges or objections that need to be overcome (e.g., too expensive, too much time away from the office, or not strong enough educational content).
- Build suspense.
- Give them a happy ending. Document quantifiable results, such as how you delivered value for their exhibition or sponsorship dollars, provided education that they couldn’t get anywhere else, or expanded their business network.
When using case studies, follow these steps:
Keep each case study to one page and 300-500 words. Post them on your Web site and distribute as PDFs on a targeted basis.
The ultimate selling tool is to videotape your best client testimonials or case studies and post on your YouTube Conference Channel. After viewing a believable, satisfied customer with an emotional tie to your conference, a prospect will feel more confident about your value proposition.
This post was adapted from an orgignal post printed in Convene. It was reprinted with permission of Convene, the magazine of the Professional Convention Management Association. © 2010 www.pcma.org
What success have you had with attendee testimonals?