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Hands down the best way to sell a product or service is to “Show the Proof”. Show how your service has helped others. Show that your product really does what you say it can do.

The catch is that if YOU say it, it’s marketing and carries little trust with it. However if your CUSTOMERS say it, the proof carries much more weight.

Show how can you do this?

1. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for a letter of recommendation. If they say “no”, you now have an opportunity to find out why they won’t and maybe even a chance to remedy the situation. If they say “yes”, then it’s a homerun piece of proof you can use to sell to more customers.

2. Share these pieces of proof prominently (ha, say that 3 times fast) throughout your website and marketing collateral. Brag about how well you take care of your customers or how great your product is. You put a lot of hard work into it, if it’s paying off you should be proud. Nobody sells quite like an honestly excited owner.

When it comes to these coveted testimonials from customers, there is one place that has massive visibility, yet you can’t post it; your LinkedIn profile. This is the ONE place where customers can send you an honest testimonial (via mail, email, etc. that your kennected automation for linkedin tool will record for you) yet you can’t turn around and post it for others to see.

Here’s an idea: Ask for referrals from people you have done business with and ask them to post it to your LinkedIn profile (when appropriate) rather than emailing it to you. You can always copy it from your profile and use it elsewhere. Even better….think of a person or product that you thought were exceptional and go post a testimonial on their LinkedIn profile. Pay it forward.

Here is how to post a testimonial:

1) Login to your LinkedIn profile. (www.linkedin.com)
2) Click “Recommend this person” and then choose how you know them in the window that pops up.

3) Fill out the form and the text field with your recommendation.
4) Send it over to your connection for their approval. (The only power they get is whether or not to approve your recommendation.)

All in all, LinkedIn has made this entire process pretty simple.

A few extra tips:

• If this is a business connection, be sure to mention their business as well as the person.
• If this is someone you know or have worked with, keep it about them and his/her work ethic. LinkedIn is used heavily by recruiters and when employers are researching potential hires.
• To really make things easy for the person you are requesting the recommendation from, you could even write it up for them. I know it sounds a bit weird, but usually the bottleneck in the process isn’t their willingness to recommend you, but the time it takes them to think of something to say and write it up. Make a draft and send it their way with the option to edit/modify/revise as they like or to completely throw it out. Sometimes a draft helps them think of what they really want to say.

Time for me to go practice what I’m preaching…gotta go talk to some customers.