As a full time Internet marketer, I know the value of a good testimonial and the role it plays in the sales process. Testimonials are one of the best forms of proof that a product or service really works.
Over the years, I’ve written hundreds of testimonials and I’ve received just as many in return. But it wasn’t until I read a couple of recommendations people wrote for me on Linked-In that I fully understood the value of a personal recommendation and how it differs from a testimonial. For the record, a great recommendation is much better!
Testimonial vs Recommendation
When you provide a testimonial, you’re writing your opinion about a product or a service. A great testimonial quickly conveys the message that the product or service works and that you were delighted with the results.
When you provide a recommendation however, you’re sharing your opinion about a living, breathing human being. A great recommendation can convey the message that the person you’re writing about is smart, witty, charming, a hard worker, tenacious, diligent, easy to get along with and an all around fantastic human being to know. It’s personal and true.
I’m not suggesting that you stop writing testimonials, far from it. When you take the time to write a meaningful testimonial to the person who sold you a product or service, you’re literally giving them a tool they can use to earn a living. I certainly appreciate a sincere testimonial and I find myself liking the person who wrote it.
On the other hand, when you take the time to write a recommendation, especially if it is unsolicited and unexpected, the person you wrote it for will cherish it … and you forever. A sincere personal recommendation will serve them from job to job, sale to sale and parole officer to parole officer. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Kindergarten Teachers Rock
I still use a recommendation I received from my kindergarten teacher to persuade my wife that she married Mr. Right. I find myself presenting it to her at least once a year on our anniversary.
Bobby Sommers is a wonderful boy. He’s charming, sweet and a good listener … at least some of the time. He should make a good husband one day.
Do This Now
If you really want to win someone over and generate a strong feeling of liking, take a few minutes and write them a one paragraph recommendation. It does not need to be any longer than a few sentences. If you want to see what a great recommendation looks like, go to Linkedin and see what people are writing about each other. Some of the recommendations will bring you to tears they’re so moving.
Now That You’ve Done The Hard Part, Do This
Then, post your recommendation to sites like Linked-In for others to see and print a copy on your letterhead and send it to the person you’re recommending in the mail. Wow!
You may also want to attach a note that reads, “I don’t know if or when you’ll need a recommendation from me, but when that day comes I want you to let the person who asks for your recommendation to know how I feel about you.
Imagine how you would feel if you received a letter like this in the mail from someone you admired. So please, take a moment right now and write a recommendation to someone who needs a pick-me-up that will last a lifetime.