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Sales Strategies

Using Social Proof: Strategic Tips to Boost Sales

By May 21, 2024No Comments

What’s the first thing people do when they’re considering investing in a product or service? Find out what other people think about it and what kind of experience they had. The fancy term for that phenomenon, of conforming based on the belief that other people have correct information, is “informational social influence.”

In digital marketing, it’s known as “social proof.” It comes in the form of reviews and testimonials, and having it is mission-critical.

What makes a compelling testimonial?

The saying “Don’t take my word for it…” exists for a reason: human beings trust the experiences of others good or bad. For this reason, social proof, which can be reviews, word of mouth, texts, or emails, can and should be used to aid your sales and marketing efforts. What kind of testimonials you need to post and where depends on factors such as who your target is, what they need to hear, and where they are in the buyer’s journey.

But let’s start with the basics of what makes a good testimonial.

  • It identifies what the client’s original issue, concern, or challenge was
  • It discusses what the experience was like working with you and your team
  • It celebrates the results that you helped them achieve
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Social proof is designed to overcome objections that potential clients may have. You leverage social proof before objections even come up so that your prospects know that they are in the right place, that it’s going to be worth the investment, and that they’re going to get the results they want. You can also read more about handling objections in our blog, From Obstacle to Opportunity: How to Handle Objections.

Your ideal testimonials will address and appease each of these concerns (for the right clients). They may sound something like this:

  • I picked you because…
  • Oh my gosh, it was worth every penny!
  • I can’t believe the results that I’m getting…
  • I always felt so supported throughout the process because…

Gathering Social Proof: Best Practices

Think back to when you were in school and there were five minutes left in class. Did you hang on every word the instructor said right up to the end? Of course not. You were packing up your stuff and mentally onto the next thing. The same thing goes for testimonials. If you wait until the end, you’ve already lost them.

So, plan ahead. From the initial discovery meeting, ask questions that can shape great testimonials, and stay engaged throughout the process—listening to learn, not just to respond—to position yourself to ask for social proof. 

Or draft it yourself based on their answers to your strategic questions, send it to them to edit at will, and ask them to post it on their social channels. The algorithms will get it in front of the people in their networks who are more likely to be interested. 

And, of course, post on your appropriate channels (the ones you know are right, not the ones people told you are) and on your website. If you capture social proof correctly, it can be deployed anywhere to move people through the buyer’s journey. 

You can also chunk testimonials down to mini case studies. Consumers always want to know what you’ve done lately and what you can do for them. Mini case studies (problem, solution, result) and testimonials are far more powerful than an “About” section on your website. They’re your hook-and-closers.

Ready to start using social proof to close deals?

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Nikkie Achartz

CEO of SNAP Savvy Strategies LLC, Nikkie Achartz is a well-known Branding Consultant, Business Growth Strategist, transformational speaker and workshop facilitator who has extensive experience in marketing strategy, sales psychology and image based branding.