Asking Questions: Remembering Marketing and Sales are About the Buyer

You would think that the word “testimonial” would have been kicked to the curb of the marketing lexicon by now.

But as a time-honored tradition, testimonials probably will linger on websites for years to come – a tired and often ineffectual way of trying to persuade lookers that they should become buyers.

When you think about it, testimonials are an extension of one of the skills many marketers have honed to perfection: self-promotion, a vital element in any marketing strategy. But if you agree that behind every (legitimate) testimonial lies a satisfied client, an involved client, a loyal client and the type of client who will spread the word about you to others, then you will reach out and try to fully engage these clients in your business.

Like any irresistible conversation, the best way to entice someone to join the fray is to talk (and self-promote) less and start asking questions. Then you can dispense with that heavy-handed and often hollow word – “testimonials” – and watch your clients behave in ways that will leave no doubt about the regard with which they hold you and your company. Call it client-based marketing, or as it is sometimes called action-based marketing.

Self-promotion should take the stage

No matter how long you’ve been in business, you know you must market to thrive. And if you’re working with a savvy marketing company that is directing your inbound marketing efforts, you know that your website, blog, newsletters, white papers, videos and other content work together to achieve some important goals, including:

Client-based marketing should share the stage

Original, high-quality blogs in particular should:

Client-based marketing raises the stakes – and increases the value to you by not merely opening a channel but by opening a dialogue. To induce a two-way and meaningful exchange, root your efforts in question-based client interactions. Asking questions is more than a conventional way to flatter people and get their attention. You want more, and you’ll get more when you:

These are just a few of the tactics you can use to generate engagement by asking questions and getting them involved. No matter what, always keep in mind ways in which you can provide value to your clients. This should inform your choices and yield better overall results.

Start attracting more customers to your business.