3 Problems with Testimonials

It’s hard for me to trust the testimonial on your web page…if I read it at all.

I see three problems with testimonials on your website:

1) Few visitors read all that text

2) Testimonials may seem too self promotional for the social web

3) People trust people, not what they read on traditional websites

People don’t read much website copy anymore.  But when they do, it’s usually not the paragraph you posted about how “John Smith from Chicago” loved your service so much that he will highly recommend it to everyone.

Nowadays, if “John Smith” loved you so much, we’d see his comment on Facebook, recommendation on Linkedin, or review on Yelp.

If you agree with me that Web 2.0 is like an online convention, your testimonials are like loudly bragging about yourself to everyone who will listen at the welcome reception.  We all know how many friends that makes. This isn’t much different.

You must rely on others to tell your story.

The web doesn’t work the way it used to (not that people ever truly trusted the testimonials on your site), and people are now looking to see how your customers interact with you on Facebook, Twitter, and your blog.

Wondering what this looks like?  Here’s how one of my favorite brands is doing it.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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The Hierarchy of Teamwork

Over the years I’ve had the honor of helping organizations make big changes in the way they do things during challenging times.  Turnaround projects are not for everyone, but I really love the challenge and the difference it can make.  I affectionately call them my “Extreme Makeover:  Healthcare Edition” projects.

For a speech I gave at the Midwestern Practice Management Symposium this fall, I had a reason to organize my thoughts on a simple plan to develop teamwork and change not only practices, but hearts as well.  Somehow this hierarchy developed into a simple acronym:  TRUCK

Here were my thoughts…

1) Kindness – It’s the beginning of any good relationship.  In a cold world, authentic kindness stands out and opens doors.  Even in a big organization, stories are shared.  “They don’t care how much you know, unless they know how much you care.”

2) Connection – Once they “care how much you know”, you can begin using your interactions (even electronic ones) to build a relationship.  Kind, meaningful interactions are the bond that creates a connection.  This may actually mean that you try to meet every person in your organization or division.  It’s not easy (believe me), but if you want to lead, you must connect.  I think this is actually the most important and sometimes most difficult step.  It makes or breaks leaders and teams.

3) Understanding – Once you build a connection and communication channels are open,  an understanding of one’s motives and qualities grows.  This is where it gets to be a challenge for some.  The more they understand you, the more they have to find what they need in order for you to be successful.  This is why the right people need to be in the right place.  You don’t have to be perfect or act like you’re in a popularity contest, but your motives and values must be absolutely unshakeable and consistent.

4) Respect – If they understand your strengths and proper motivation, respect will develop at some level. 

5) Trust – Finally, trust comes when they respect you and believe that you’ll use your skills and abilities to support them in their work.  It is the difference between knowing someone can catch you and believing they actually will.

Once you have their trust, you can make big changes:  change hearts, change minds, change cultures.  You can move mountains. 

TRUCK may be just another silly acronym, but hopefully this concept of a hierarchy can help guide the process for building teamwork or how a Servant Leader can grow a strong organization and deliver results. 

Let me know what you think.  It’s a work in progress.