Does Your Parking Lot Look Busy? Your Prospects are Watching Word Count: 749 Summary: What's even funnier is that the food at those places isn't even great, but I keep thinking I must be missing something since so many other people like it! Keywords: ezine writing, ezine advertising, e-zine advertising, ezine newsletters, ezine marketing, ezines, e-zine, ezine, speaking opportunities Article Body: Twice a week I go to a great little massage place in the neighborhood, and right next door is a tiny Indian restaurant. The food always smells delicious when I walk by, and the owner excitedly waves at passersby. But there's a reason why I've never gone in and given it a chance... The restaurant is always empty! When I walk by, I always think, "Hmm, maybe I'll try that place for takeout one night." But in five years I never have. I always end up going two doors down to the bustling Chinese place or the sushi place with the line out the door - even though I have to usually wait 20 minutes for my food to be ready. What's even funnier is that the food at those places isn't even great, but I keep thinking I must be missing something since so many other people like it! The saying is true... no one wants to eat at a restaurant where there are no cards parked outside. We all go by the feeling of "safety in numbers" and look for what some people call "social proof" that something is good or works before we try it. This is why it's extremely important to use testimonials on your website, brochures, and marketing materials, and even in your talks and teleseminars. And it's even MORE important for people like us whose businesses don't have parking lots. It's up to US to show prospects they won't be the first person ever to hire us or buy our products! Simple idea, yes, but many people forget to use it in their marketing. (Even I forget sometimes, too.) But it's extremely important. Whether conscious or subconscious, seeing testimonials for a product or service makes us feel "safe" when deciding to buy. But please remember the big difference between a good testimonial and a lame one. Let's look at two examples: Example 1: "I've really enjoyed being a part of Alexandria Brown's Gold Mastermind program and have found it great value for the money." - E.B. This one's all right, says nice things, and gives the person's initials. Problem is, there are no actual *results* shared here, and using initials-only leaves doubt about the authenticity of the testimonial. Example 2: (and a real one, too!): "Since joining Alexandria Brown's Gold & Platinum Mastermind programs last year, I've doubled my revenues and can directly attribute at least $100,000.00 to her ideas and advice. Believe me, you WANT to be a part of this exceptional group of entrepreneurs!" -- Christine Kloser, Founder of "The Conscious Business Circle", Red Lion, Pa., www.ConsciousBusinessCircle.com Now, let's look at the second one. Much more effective because it's results oriented. That is, it shares actual results the client/customer has gotten. Do whatever you can to include numbers, dollar amounts, and/or percentages -- these will grab your prospect's attention, let them know this is the real deal, and dramatically increase your response. Also, the more information you provide about your clients and customers, the more believable and effective their testimonials will be. Include full name, occupation or company name, city and state they're from, web address (if applicable), and a PHOTO. (Even a poor photo, if that's all they have. It's important to make them REAL to your reader.) If you're in a sensitive industry and clients don't want their names revealed, then share as much as you can about them otherwise. For example, "-- female Fox News executive, 38, Studio City, Calif." While it's not as good as giving their names, it's better than nothing. And remember, one of the best things about using testimonials is it's much more effective for your clients and customers to rave about YOU than for you to rave about yourself. So let them "rave" and have fun with it! BONUS TIP: Use Testimonials to Address Common Objections If you really want testimonials to dramatically improve your response, make a list of the common objections your prospects usually have to buying your products or services. And then have at least one testimonial that addresses each. For example, when I first started selling my Boost Business with Your Own <a href="http://www.ezinequeen.com/">online newsletter</a> system, I learned that some folks weren't buying it because they thought they needed a website to get started. So I found a success story from one of my customers who had used the system and never even had a real website. And we created a testimonial that made sure to share that fact.