I encourage all CPAs I mentor to collect and use testimonials. They serve as potent social proof for your target market, making them feel more comfortable about giving you their business. They can be used on your website, in your marketing materials and elsewhere – anywhere you want to give your prospect added confidence in choosing you.
I got a fresh perspective on the strategic use of testimonials while talking with Vickie Sullivan, a top market strategist for experts. Sullivan suggests that CPAs should try channeling their prospects’ mindset to identify the top three potential objections to working with that CPA. What are the things potential clients are most afraid of? What are their concerns? What ultimately stops them from signing on with you?
Get to the heart of those fears, and then use testimonials that will specifically combat those fears.
If you already have a collection of testimonials to draw from, look for the ones that seem to address the most common objections. You should have a system in place for the ongoing collection of fresh testimonials. While it would be unethical to tell a client what to say about you, you can certainly point him in a specific direction, as long as it accurately reflects her opinion.
For example, if you’ve received positive verbal feedback from a client about your knowledgeable and courteous staff, you can ask that client to write a testimonial that reflects those same feelings. You might even remind him what he said to make it easier for him to write the testimonial: “Hey Tom, I really appreciated what you said about my staff being savvy and polite, and how much you’ve come to trust my entire team. Would you be willing to repeat those same sentiments in a written testimonial I can use in my marketing materials? Please let me know what I can do to make this easier for you.”
The important distinction here is that you’re putting forward testimonials that address your prospect’s secret concerns in advance. Overcome the objection up front – not through your own words, but from the mouths of your existing clients – and you’ll be impossible to resist.
Want to learn more about marketing your CPA practice? Check out my book The Ultimate CPA Practice in the New Economy: 10 Secrets to Attract More Clients, Boost Profits and Live Your Ideal Lifestyle.
Until next time,