A great testimonial is a golden nugget.

Thumbs upI would be the first person that will tell you a good testimonial is a highly valuable on your website or other promotional materials.  The reason for this is that a testimonial says more about you or your product than you can ever say.

It is called social proof, and it brings both validation and credibility to the product or business.

Here are a few everyday examples.

1)Take a look at some of the insurance mail pieces that pop through your letterbox, there will always be a picture
of someone saying how easy the claim process was.

2) Look at Amazon or Ebay, when offered a choice between similar product and price it is the feedback or reviews that swing the decision.

3) If you are a business user on Linkedin, notice how it prompts you to endorse your contacts.

We know all of this is important. So why is it so difficult to ask your customers for a testimonial. Also, when you ask why is it so difficult to get something that is worth using in your publicity?

First, it is a bit embarrassing to ask, it’s like asking for a compliment, and I was told by my parents that it was not polite.

From the other side on the receiving end of the question and being asked to give a testimonial, most people ( myself included ) do not know what to say. Or find it had to frame the words well.

Paul is a really great guy, very friendly.   Fred Smith  (while nice to know that Fred thinks I am great it does not say much.)

The key point, receiving a good testimonial is about timing. The customer needs to be in the right frame of mind,  the best time to ask is when the experience is fresh. But for practical reasons it is not always the best time to ask.  So how do we get a supply of strong testimonials and endorsement?

The best solution is to use a survey and structure it in such a way that customer is giving an opinion.  You can use this material to create all the testimonials that best serve your cause.

To find out more see the testimonial took kit

[tweetthis]A great testimonial is like a golden nugget.[/tweetthis]


The power of thinking & feeling to get what you want

Thinking and feeling. A few weeks back ( July 2015) I saw a TV programme called Dead Man Walking on BBC2 Scotland, for me, it was about thinking and feeling.

David Smith thinking & Feeling
David Smith BBC Programme

It was the story of gold medal-winning Paralympian David Smith and his journey with cancer. David has faced many struggles in his life, born with club feet he went on to become a professional karate champion, athlete, bobsleigh brakeman, rower and now a cyclist.

He had beaten spine cancer before, but the disease had returned, we got to follow his treatment and subsequent return to fitness, a battle for his life and career.

It occurs to me that we see athletes like beings at the pinnacle of dedication to their bodies and performance. It is hard to see the parallel between the athlete and his sport to the entrepreneur and his business. However, the programme was an insight into a world; that is more similar than you might think.

Taking aside the pain and physical differences, the key similarity is belief and the power of thought because nothing gets done without it. David’s key challenge was laying in bed following the operation and knowing that he would be able to move his body again. It was all about getting his head right. At each stage of his recovery, he got his head in the right place, and his body followed.

Getting the head right

As a marketing coach, this is not something that I talk about much, and yet it does come up. Both in client meetings and in my experience of just doing the work for myself. We have all heard the quote:

” If you think you can you can,
and if you think you can’t you’re right.”

That is thinking & feeling in action. We know this then why do so many of us use negative self-talk in conversation. I have noted in myself the use of negative sarcasm when commenting on the positive. “ It may be sunny now, but you watch out it will rain later.” Not that my thinking can affect the weather, but it does reflect the sensitivity of my well-being to an external event. I have come to see this as a defence; it is like we are building in defeat so we can feel better when the outcome we would like does not happen.

Athletes do not  to use negative words about themselves

We would not expect an athlete to use negative words about themselves or their performance. The sports world has known the power of the mind for 50 years. It has only just started to make an appearance in everyday life. Mindfulness CBT, NLP, EFT and meditation are all techniques that use thinking & feeling and can be used to get control of the head. To my mind, these techniques are half the story

I have worked with my head and thoughts for many years, my thinking and it can be a creative monster. It can tell me all sorts of bad stories that do not make me feel good about myself. I have discovered, given that I do not live in a war zone, that the reality is rarely that bad. I know from experience that everything works better if I believe it will.

The point is as an entrepreneur we have to put ourselves on the line, and that takes confidence, and it has to come from somewhere. Public speaking at the front of a room of men in dark suits required me to take a few deep breaths. In my experience, I did not die, and they liked me.

thinking & feeling

Understand those thoughts and feeling are connected, they work in both directions. Negative thoughts lead to negative feelings, and the opposite is also true. Good thoughts lead to good feelings.

Test this for yourself, observe your own thoughts, and the feelings attached, try to remember a happy experience from your childhood.

Do it now.

Did you notice the connection, it may not have worked just now, but do try this out for yourself.

The missing piece and going to the next level.Thinking & Feeling

Thinking good thoughts and having positive feelings is only half the story, what has worked for me is removing the fear of failure. I have heard various people speak to this; some say fail quickly and move on. Others say there is no failure just feedback.

Just as success brings the rush of endorphin, failure, when we have invested so much, can be a crushing blow. Using the above ideas you can dust yourself down and move on, the point is unless failure means the end of your life, there will always be something that follows, you will always move on

The practice of non-attachment

I use non-attachment, I have learned that the reality of something not going as I wanted, means I live on to try something else. It often brings new fresh opportunity. I will not pretend that I have no attachments because I do, my family, friends some possessions. I have just found a way of holding the outcome and accepting whatever it is.

Achieving a place of non- attachment can be deep work and difficult to explain in words; it is hard to describe, but it is a skill I urge you to cultivate as with it comes to the freedom of action and life without fear.

Going back to David’s situation he was very attached and driven by his outcomes and he was facing a life or death situation. He is an inspiration, within six months of his neck operation to remove the tumour on his spine he cycled Mont Ventoux, three times in one day.

Sitting at the top at the end of this amazing ride. He reflected that most people with his cancer would be resting in a chair while he was resting at the top of a mountain.

Tweet: The parallel between the athlete and his sport and the entrepreneur with his business. http://ctt.ec/zicy1+

If you want to get results we have a 90-day program that uses some of the techniques found n this article for more details see here