When it comes to landing more deals than my competition, one of the aces up my sleeve is effectively using testimonials to help earn the trust of my potential clients. Nothing is more positive than a third party account of your performance from someone who has done business with you previously. Sometimes this is all it takes to push someone over the edge to work with you and sign the contract.
Sellers Want to Work With Someone They Can Trust
If the shoe was on the other foot, I probably would feel uncomfortable with someone who came in with a dilapidated pickup truck with a “I Buy Houses for Cash” sign on it — and who didn’t seem to have a clue what he was talking about. And trust me, this happens more than you might think. These sellers sometimes are facing serious problems (death in the family, medical issues, bankruptcy, etc.) and need help. If you are there to just string them along, you are not going to last in this business. If I were the seller, I would want someone I could trust if I was going to go into escrow with them.
That is not to say I am being negative towards new people in this business or people who might have beaten up trucks (a lot of the most successful investors I know still drive their work trucks with 200k+ miles on them to these appointments), but there are shady people in this business — let’s be honest. And if someone can’t produce a solid list of testimonials and seems to be untrustworthy, then the seller’s fear may well be valid.
If you are more established, you can even prove this. That is where testimonials come in.
My Client Testimonial Packet
Whenever I go on an appointment with a new client, one of the last things I do is leave them a packet. These are just simple packets you can buy and piece together with cheap binders you get at your local office supply shop. Inside, I have each page branded with my company name, logo and contact information. On the first few pages, I simply have some pictures and links to houses that I have rehabbed, including before and after photos. This helps prove my legitimacy; it says, “Hey, I have done this — many times, in fact. I have helped many people who were in a similar situation before, and I can do it again.”
After that section, I have a few paragraphs about our company, how long we have been in business and what we do. I spell it out very plainly, and I don’t try to hide anything. Basically, my packet talks about how I buy houses as is for a discount, pay all closing costs, pay in cash and can usually finish the closing process within a few weeks in most cases — or faster.
After that, I have several pages filled with quotes and testimonials from past clients. This is where the true legitimacy is. Very seldom do people actually bother to call my past clients to ask about their experience working with me, but it has happened. When people see the list, a picture of the client, their phone number, and the blurb on what they have to say about working with me or my company, that is enough.
And as I mentioned earlier, I have several pages of these in every packet — about three or four. If you want to go the extra mile, something I have been doing for a little over a year now is using video testimonials. They are professionally produced with high quality video and sound, with a little splash intro and fade out. I simply make sure I have an iPad handy and go to the link on my website that embeds a few of these and play a few for the prospective seller. It’s very impressive.
After that, I usually have a proof of funds letter from one of my lenders. You don’t have to rub it in anyone’s face how much you are pre-approved for; just have them make a professional letter that validates you have the funds to close the deal. This is important because in some neighborhoods where I work the sellers, it can be common to run into sellers who have already been burned by wholesalers who left them on the hook.
Turn Current Deals into Future Testimonials
I also set expectations for the current client. I ask them in advance before we ever sign any papers or close any deals that if my performance meets or exceeds their expectations whether they would be willing to publish a brief testimonial on my website or to use in future marketing. Almost always, they say yes. Before you know it, you too will have pages of testimonials for you to use.
Investors: Do you use testimonials in your business? Any tips you’d add to this article?
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