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Bill Platt of Book Reviews Trade Forum, invites you to reprint this article in your publication, ezine, or on your website.

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    Testimonials and Reviews Increase Your Real Sales Potential
    Copyright © 2006, Bill Platt

    You may use this image in your ezine or website if you choose to publish my article. --- Bill Platt
    You may use this image in your ezine or website if you choose to publish my article. Click here to see the picture full-sized.--- Bill Platt
    It does not matter whether you are trying to find new subscribers 
    for your ezine, new visitors to your website, sales of products 
    and services from your website, or even promoting your newest 
    book. We all lack one essential ingredient when we are starting 
    The one essential ingredient for online success in any endeavor 
    is gaining your prospect's trust.
    Slick sales copy can only succeed in piquing interest and closing 
    the sale with those who easily trust others. Maybe your name and 
    reputation have preceded you and that is why your prospect is so 
    quick to trust your spiel. Maybe your prospect trusts everyone 
    all the time. Who knows?
    The deal is that not everyone is going to trust your pitch on 
    face value. Some of us just live life a bit more cautiously.
    When your prospect is not handing out their trust easily, then 
    you will need to provide them the ability to believe in what you 
    are offering.
    The easiest way to gain someone's trust is to let them read the 
    words of other people --- real people who have tried what you 
    are offering.
    Your happy customers will spontaneously let you know when they 
    are happy with what you have done for them. When your happy 
    clients have made the effort to praise your work, make sure 
    that you share that with your future potential customers.
    A great testimonial page will help you to close more sales than 
    any other page you put on your website.
    Be sure that you tell your happy customers that you have used 
    their testimonial; they will be delighted to hear about it. Be 
    sure to include their first name (last name also, but only with 
    permission) and city if they are general consumers.
    If you are in the business of providing products and services to 
    others in the business community, use their full name with their 
    permission and link to their website.
    When you link to their website, they will be thrilled for the 
    extra free advertising. You will have cemented your client's 
    praise for your products and services.
    Real people, with real names and real locations are the trust 
    builders in testimonials.
    Real people, with real names and real websites can develop 
    unbreakable trust, since the statements in the testimonial 
    can be verified easily.
    Typically, we think of reviews in regards to books, music and 
    movies. But, reviews can also work for newsletters, websites, 
    products, services, and membership sites.
    Reviews are more formal in their style and design. Reviews look 
    beyond what the person, who is sharing his or her comments, has 
    gained from the product or service being commented upon.
    Instead, reviews are intended to show people what can be expected 
    from a product or service. It is like a checklist of features, 
    with commentary provided concerning how useful the features will 
    be to the reader.
    By their nature, testimonials are spontaneous. For the purposes 
    of sharing the value of a product or service, testimonials NEED 
    to be spontaneous.
    But, reviews are a different kind of beast.
    In some cases, people will review your product or service without 
    your input into the process. But, this is extremely rare.
    In most cases, you will need to seek out someone to do a review 
    of your product or service. It is not enough to wait for someone 
    to do a review --- you might be waiting forever. You must 
    proactively seek out people to do reviews on whatever it is that 
    you are selling.
    In rare cases, you might be able to find someone to do a review 
    for you out of the kindness of their heart.
    In many cases, you can find people who will do a professional 
    review of your product for a small or not-so-small fee.
    In today's internet community, there are still others who might 
    be willing to review your book, product or service in exchange 
    for you listing their name and website along with their review, 
    on your website or on your book jacket. Savvy internet marketers 
    understand the value of getting their URL in circulation through 
    multiple channels. You might just be surprised who might step up 
    and volunteer to review your product, service or book in exchange 
    for some free advertising!
    Generally, you will only want to offer an opportunity to review 
    your product, service or book to a very select few people. If you 
    make your offer open-ended, you might find your best potential 
    customers getting what you are offering for free. Always limit 
    your offer to a limited number of participants.
    You should expect a review to be of a certain length ---
    generally two to three paragraphs. You will often want to develop 
    a long version and a short version of a review, to be used in 
    different promotional formats.
    If you are selling a book, then the review will be the lifeblood 
    of your sales potential.
    If you are selling a product or service, the review can add a 
    substantial upside to your sales potential.
    Take the time to seek out a limited number of people who would be 
    willing to review your product, service or book. And, don't be 
    afraid to barter for the review. For your best benefit, just be 
    sure to offer something of real value to the reviewer, so that 
    you can gain something that will be of real value to you.
    And one final note on the subject of reviews. I know it is easy 
    to want everyone to say what you want to hear. But, it is often 
    better to insist upon complete honesty from your reviewer. 
    Complete honesty from your reviewer will allow them to be more 
    believable in the eyes of your prospects. And sometimes, your 
    reviewers honesty might help you improve upon your offerings, 
    which could allow you to make even more money down the road. 

    Writer's Resource Box:
    Bill Platt owns the Book Reviews Trade Forum
    located at: http://www.reviewstrade.com/forum/index.php
    We invite publishers, plus book and ebook writers to 
    list their offers to have their manuscripts reviewed 
    by others. And, we encourage individuals interested in 
    doing book reviews for pay or barter to visit regularly 
    to see what new offers might be available.

    More Articles Written by Bill Platt

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