Testimonials and case studies are BS and you don’t need ‘em to convert prospects. Here’s why.
Marketers are funny
If you wanna sell things as efficiently as possible; use testimonials, use logos of past & present clients. Use case studies.
You can even package it up and use it as a lead magnet.
So yeah, they do work.
But here’s the reason I’ve decided NOT to do it from the get go for my ad agency.
And before bashing me, one of, if not THE most influential marketer of our time – Neil Patel – agrees with this. You can go listen to him listen to him talking about this on The Side Hustle Project podcast if you want. He says:
“My team thinks it’s important (to present cases studies) but I call BS on that. I’ll show ’em (prospects) quick testimonials and stuff and I’ll be like ‘I have dozens and dozens of case studies but let’s be honest, all these testimonials and case studies are BS. Just because I did well for these other companies, doesn’t mean I’ll do well for your business…'”
And this is something Cris Voss also mentioned in one of his speeches at a conference for lawyers.
Chris was the lead international FBI hostage negotiator, now retired, and he mentioned a story about a hostage situation in the Philippines involving an American citizen.
The father wasn’t an American citizen but his son was.
His son was kidnapped for ransom so the FBI got involved and Chris had to help him all the way from Washington DC and this is where he had to call this man up from.
The man literally answered with
“You’re in Washington DC? How you gonna help me!?”
Because he was probably thinking that the FBI was gonna send a team to the Philippines that day to help him, which unfortunately wasn’t the case.
So Chris tells the story of how he dealt with that situation because he needed to establish trust AND competence with the man in 7 seconds flat or the man would probably hang up and the kid would of been lost.
I’ll let you listen to that part of the speech here in a second but Chris mentioned that summing up all of his credentials at this point would be a grave mistake.
This is what all of us are inclined to do to persuade prospects.
But Cris knows that this is BS because he had done this before and it was an utter failure. Now this is coming from a guy whose job was to help rescue people from the hands of bloodthirsty, psychotic criminals and terrorists.
And he’s saying that to establish trust and competence, one must use another approach other than summing up impressive achievements.
Here’s the part where he talks about this and I want you to take notes on this because it’ll probably completely change the way you qualify prospects and establish instant trust & competence to convert any prospect, online or offline.
Here it is:
Time for a bit of integrity in the agency world
So here’s the deal.
Let’s say I have 59 past & present clients.
Is it fair to say that I’m gonna be able to provide top 1% type of results for each and every one of them?
Of course not.
And I haven’t.
And I will never be able to.
Because how could I?
A business has a soul and a body. It’s different every time.
So the strategies you implement on one brand, may provide 8 times the return while it delivers a loss for another brand.
And this is a fact.
It doesn’t matter how great you, your team, the tech, the step-by-step systems you have that are proven to work.
Because 100% of the time, you’re dealing with people.
Their target market.
They are all human beings.
And every human being is different.
Let me explain with a specific example
What if I had a proven roadmap that can help bring in 27 high-value leads daily, 7 days a week on autopilot, for a real estate company selling high-ticket multi family property in downtown Manhattan.
And I do the same thing for another real estate company in downtown Sydney Australia.
Now let me ask you: are the results gonna be even remotely similar?
How are the closing ratios gonna be?
The fact is, one may be above average and one may be terrible because the markets are different, the people and their buying culture is different, the closing skills of the agents may be different, the brand power of each company is different.
There are huge differences.
Now, it’s time to get honest here. It’s time to put my integrity on the line here.
Which one of those results and which one of these clients will I use for my testimonials and case studies IF I were to use testimonials & case studies to convert prospects? And which one will I not even mention the first letter of their name of if I wanna close a prospect?
You guessed it: I’ll ONLY talk about the one that I was able to get amazing results for IF I were to choose to use testimonials and case studies etc. in my marketing collateral..
Let’s be real.
But what happens next?
Every real estate company that decides to hire my agency will be expecting at least similar results by hiring my agency right?
They can’t help to think otherwise.
They’re right to think like that because that’s the ONLY way I was able to persuade them into doing business with me.
But I know that I have no clue if I’m gonna be able to deliver on that expectation.
No frikin’ clue
So I’m gonna stress out. I’m gonna put tremendous stress on my team.
Everytime the client contacts us, we’re gonna come up with excuses and say “let’s give it a bit more time because these things take time” which IS true but I know I HAVE to use that as an excuse now because we’re simply not getting the results the client was expecting.
He came in with the wrong type of expectations.
I mean, how is it possible to go wrong?
If we were able to do it for one real estate company, why can’t we do it for this one right?
I don’t want this kind of discrepancies when dealing with prospects AND clients.
Because there are so many factors that can influence the outcome of an ad campaign and marketing efforts, that it’s not gonna be a viable tactic for me to use to convert a prospect to hire my agency.
I don’t want dissatisfied high-value clients telling all of their high-value friends about how hiring my agency was a mistake.
I’m not interested in keeping a client for a month, or 2 months or three months.
I want them for years to come.
That’s how you build any successful business that can withstand any economic downturn.
Because the cost of acquiring a new customer far exceeds the cost of retaining one
I don’t wanna have a social media ad agency where I’m desperately looking for new clients because of the simple fact that I’m not gonna be able to deliver on the expectations of current clients.
I’d rather miss out on initial conversions, which I have no doubt that I’m missing out on, but have REAL clients that have submitted to the reality that anything we do just simply may not work the way we’d planned.
And if that’s gonna make or break them, they shouldn’t hire us.
I’d rather convert a prospect this way and do everything in my power to overdeliver, than to close them on unrealistic expectations but underdeliver in the end.
Which many agencies do.
That’s why there are so many of them. Let’s be honest.
They have the best stories in the world to close prospects but they simply can’t deliver on most of the expectations.
That’s a fact.
That’s why they’ll have entire departments full of sales people that don’t know jack shit about running digital marketing campaigns to help grow a business. But they’ll make cold calls all day to get new business in.
Because the agency knows: unless a client is locked in for at least 12 months, clients WILL most likely leave them in a couple of months due to mediocre results, at best.
But they’re free to do them.
And I’m free to do me.
And whatever happens, happens.
p.s. If you’re a small business owner that wants lifelong customers who respect you & don’t complain about your prices; if you want leads, inquiries or visits without chasing anyone down, without offering discount or without giving away your best stuff for free, go to farukdeveci.com. Read the letter on that page and if it makes sense, fill out the form on the bottom and we’ll reach out to ya.
I’m grateful for your attention, for your likes, comments and shares.
Faruk Deveci, Ad Man, Entrepreneur & Perpetual Underdog