There is no better salesman than a satisfied customer. Social proof is one of the most authentic and convincing sales tools in your marketing arsenal. Successfully enticing customers to become evangelists in person or print can be difficult enough, but add in the challenge of getting them to go on camera for a testimonial video, especially at some future date, and the task might seem daunting.
Thankfully, enticing customers to become your on-camera stars is easier than you might think. I’ve developed a two-pronged approach to get them to commit: targeting two different types of customers and using some basic sales techniques.
The Grateful Group
These are the customers who come to you overflowing with excitement. They have just had a fantastic experience with you, your service, or product and they are so pumped up that they want your staff to know what a great experience they had.
It’s important to leverage their enthusiasm in the moment, and ask them to share their story. The challenge is that you can’t have a camera crew or video production company on standby all the time for the occasional exuberant customer. The easiest way to ensure they come back when you’re ready is to do two things: ask them for a commitment to film a testimonial video at some point and log them for later outreach. Securing an implicit commitment, even before you have a shoot planned will go a long way in ensuring they show-up when you’re ready. Their enthusiasm will subside and you can use a little guilt later on when you’re ready to schedule if you have that commitment ahead of time.
The Articulate Group
This is a subset of your clientele that you can identify as a fantastic voice for your brand just by virtue of how they carry themselves. They are often busy with their own lives and not as vocal about how much they love your product. They’re likely busy leveraging the talents that made you take notice of them.
The easiest method to entice this group is with a little flattery. It doesn’t always work but it’s free so I would try that first. Compliment them and then ask for their information. Tell them how articulate and well put together they are and let them know that they are exactly the type of customer that you need representing your brand in a testimonial video.
If needed, you can offer compensation or a discount in exchange for their time. There’s no immediate commitment on their part and they get something upfront. What you get is a commitment to speak with your in team in the future and a better chance at securing them for the testimonial video. Hopefully you won’t have to bribe them, but if you do, you’ll have to disclose it.
Compensation And Disclosure
Even the mention of an offer in the future can be construed to likely influence their testimonial video. The Federal Trade Commision has been increasingly more stringent in their guidelines and willing to go after companies who abuse them. Don’t let that scare you away from this tactic or fear that a little disclosure text would ruin the value of a good testimonial video. A seasoned video production company will know the rules and know how to get great results without putting you in danger of drawing regulatory scrutiny. I cover this issue extensively in our free whitepaper on testimonial videos. See the link to at the bottom of this article.
Scheduling And Getting Them To Show Up
Once you have a healthy log of potential testimonial video talent, it’s time to round them up for the shoot. It’s important to search out and log talent with a timeline in mind. In general, I find the larger your average ticket, the longer the experience will resonate and the more time you’ll have to reengage the candidate successfully. Three to four weeks ahead of a shoot is a good schedule for retail business with lots of customer turnover. Six to eight weeks might work better for businesses with a higher average ticket price. High ticket items might resonate for months or years. Think about how long you were happy with a great house buying experience. If you love your realtor, you’ll go to bat for them a year later. The point is to have a plan because all enthusiasm has an expiration date.
When you are finally ready to schedule your testimonial video shoot, you might have to leverage the customers waning enthusiasm to overcome their nerves. When you run into jitters, start by making them comfortable in the booking call. Tell them they are on your list because you know they will be relatable, articulate, and authentic on camera. Compliment them but be subtle and sincere. Let them know you will make it easy by asking a bunch of simple questions and they just have to answer in casual conversation. Make sure they understand they won’t have to read any lines, act, or prepare in any way. I have a complete list of preparation tips in our help section and in our guide to testimonial videos.
Getting your customers on camera for testimonial videos is a great way to increase conversion and brand credibility. Leveraging the story of a happy customer can encourage potential customers to envision themselves having the same experience. I hope these tips help you get started rounding up a pool of potential talent for your testimonial video shoot.
For a comprehensive guide on how to find, negotiate and produce video endorsements check out our free white paper: Recruiting & Producing Fantastic Testimonial Videos
If you’re a marketing director or business owner interested in hiring a video production company for a testimonial video campaign, feel free to drop us a line through our website.