Testimonials and the Power of Social Proof

Interested in a F.REE, easy-to-create marketing technique?  One that is highly effective WHENEVER your prospects see it?

This is a technique you see every day when you’re online, when you’re watching home shopping channels on TV, and when you’re reading print ads.  Every major marketer uses this to the maximum extent possible.

What is this amazingly effective, f.ree tool that all the big marketers use?


At this point, you may be thinking: Yeah, yeah, testimonials are nice to have, but they’re not really THAT important.  WRONG!

Here’s why testimonials are CRITICAL for your business.

Customer-Trust-Loyalty-Confidence TilesWhen your prospects are trying to figure out what to do, they look at what other people are doing.  Testimonials show them what other people (meaning, your past clients/team members) have done and how satisfied those other people are.

Testimonials get their power from social proof.  Robert Cialdini is a major academic researcher on social proof, describing it as  “…one important means that people use to decide what to believe or how to act in a situation is to look at what other people are believing or doing there….[This] can be used to stimulate a person’s compliance with a request by informing the person that many other individuals (the more, the better) are or have been complying with it.” p. 139 Influence: Science and Practice, Robert B. Cialdini, 2009, Pearson Education.

Here are three important points about social proof:
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How Your Authenticity Affects Your Business Results

Authenticity is often discussed and seldom defined. What does being authentic mean?

In my last ezine, I shared some of the elements of your authentic life.

How many of these apply to your current life?

Elements of an Authentic Life

1. You know your values and live in accordance with them. When you do things that are opposite to your values or even slightly not aligned, you start to feel uncomfortable.

2. You know your strengths. You engage in work and activities that let you use and enjoy your strengths.

3. You spend a lot of time with your like-minded people. Your choices about where you spend your time (work, socializing, spiritually) tend to put you in touch with like-minded people who value what you value.

4. You are working in the service of something bigger than yourself. When you’re living your authentic life, you’re generally engaged in work that supports other people.

Feelings You Experience

More confidence. You feel more expert at what you do. The alignment between your values and your actions gives you inner certainty.

More clarity on your decisions, with less second-guessing.

More satisfaction and significance. You see that you’re making a difference; your efforts contribute to something bigger.
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The Journey to Authenticity

Do you ever speak with a prospect while carrying on an internal dialog with yourself, asking yourself WHY they’d want to work with you or buy your product?

In some situations, do you find it hard to describe what you do with any energy or enthusiasm?

What’s sucking the energy and joy out of you in those moments may be that you’re feeling inauthentic. You might feel you’re overstating your value. You question why someone would want to work with you.

Experiencing yourself as authentic is key to your entrepreneurial success! Here are the stages you’ll pass through along the way to full authenticity.

The Journey to Authenticity Starts With BOXES

When we’re young, we can be labelled and put into boxes. We’re the special child, the athletic child, the good kid or the bad kid. Right away, we get labelled and pigeon-holed in our families.

In school, we also get labelled. You’re hanging out with the jocks or the nerds or the cute girls – again, the labels.

After-we get out of high school, we can feel societal/family/cultural pressure to follow a certain path.

This is what my path looked like.
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Does Your Throat Close Up When This Happens? (from the “What You Have to Give Up to Go Up in 2015” series)

Does this ever happen to you?

You have a new program or product to share with people. You’re speaking with someone at a networking event or a client on the phone. Your brain is saying “This person really needs to hear about the new program or product. Now is the perfect time! Start talking!” But nothing comes out of your mouth. The words are on the way from your brain to your mouth, and they get stuck in your throat.

This is another video and blog post in my series on what you have to give up in order to go up in 2015.

Here’s an example from my childhood that I remember so, so vividly:

It was summertime. I was about eight years old. I was enrolled in a summer activity camp. Our big activity for the day was to go to the pool and to jump off of the high dive board. I was absolutely petrified at the thought of doing this but I did not feel like I could say that to my teacher. She was a super nice person; but I just couldn’t get the words out of my mouth to say “I’m scared and I don’t want to do this.”
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Are You Asking For Referrals?

Do you have this problem I often see in my clients? You have a goal of building your business through referrals and you have clients who love your work. The problem is that you’re not consistently asking those same clients for referrals.

See if some of these common themes are getting in your way:

“Well let’s see, I want to ask my client for referrals but I’m worried that if I do it while we’re still working together, I’m going to sound too sales-y or too pushy. So I need to wait until we’re through working together. But wait, when we’re done working together, then I feel weird about getting back in touch with them and asking them to refer someone to me.”

Figuring out when to ask is tricky, then how do you ask?

Particularly if you’re someone who’s not comfortable with languaging what you want, then you may be completely at a loss about how to ask for referrals in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y or pushy to either of you.

Asking your colleagues for referrals can also be confusing. How do you ask this in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y? And how do you even know if they’re in touch with any of your ideal clients? That starts to feel confusing.

A final theme that sometimes comes up is related to the kind of work that you do. Some clients state, “Gosh my work is so powerful but it’s really hard to describe, so how can I even describe it in order to ask for referrals?”

If this is sounding like you, if you’ve got clouds of confusion going on around referrals, let me assure you there is a way out of this.

There is an easy step-by-step process that I am looking forward to guiding people just like you through along with my wonderful colleague, Jennifer Zwiebel.
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Why Referrals Matter to YOU!

Are you consistently asking for referrals?

Are you consistently growing your business through referrals that you’ve received from happy past clients, current clients or colleagues?

If not, I want to share with you three reasons why referrals are so important for your business.

1.  Your ideal client tends to hang out with people who are just like them. So anyone they refer to you is also going to be ideal. Who do you most want to work with? Someone who’s ideal!

2.  When your past or current clients refer people to you, that referred prospect is already going to be in love with you. The “know, like and trust” factor is going to be present before they meet you.

Why? Because someone they know, like and trust…someone they believe in, has said great things about you. Plus, that prospect has seen the results of the transformational work that you did with that past or current client who’s referring them. So when that prospect shows up and says to you, “I was referred by Susie,” they are going to be about one inch away from already being ready to work with you.
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What You Have to Give Up to Go Up in 2015 – Part 1

Do you have a big goal for this New Year? WomanClimbingStairs

Do you want to substantially increase the number of clients that you have this year, or your income?

Do you want to have a bigger impact on the lives of your clients or team members?

If that’s you, then most likely you’ve been thinking about your goals for this New Year. You’ve been thinking about the actions that you want to take that might be different from last year.

I invite you to turn your thinking upside down and look not just at new things you want to add in but to also look at what you want to release.

This is the first in a series of videos about what you’re going to have to give up in order to go up this year.

Today I’m talking about the difference between your comfort zone and your growth zone.

One of my favorite sayings is, “There’s no comfort in your growth zone and there’s no growth in your comfort zone.”

These two zones are completely different from each other. Every second in your business you’re in one or the other, you can’t be in both.
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A Peek Behind the Scenes at Stahl Enterprises!

Ever wonder what a successful coaching business looks like “behind the scenes”?  Each one is different; here’s a look at what makes mine tick.

My team of virtual assistants, in alphabetical order.  I highly recommend each of these ladies.

brittanyBrittany Dunlap. She helps me with my social media presence and speaking gigs. She’s a busy mom with 3 young children, so she understands multi-tasking and late nights on Facebook! She helps solopreneurs and small businesses build their brand on social media: Social Media Done For You: brittanydunlap@rocketmail.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/brittanydunlap   http://www.pinterest.com/brittanyadunlap


darceesellersDarcee Sellers. Darcee specializes in InfusionSoft, the system I use for my ezine and email marketing. She also handles my web site needs. She is the “secret weapon” working behind the scenes for many top online business leaders. http://yoursavvyva.com    darcee@yoursavvyva.com



RunyonPhoto_MStClair003webcopyMelissa St. Clair. Melissa is my Client Care Manager, helping to bring new clients on board easily, schedule their appointments and handle various administrative tasks. As a military spouse, being virtual allows her to run her business, Paper Chaser, anywhere. http://paperchaserbiz.com/     http://www.facebook.com/paperchaserbiz



Since we’re working together virtually, all our tools are online.  We rely on:
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Leveraging Your One-on-One Strength in Networking

  • Do you have your biggest impact on people when you’re meeting one on one with them?
  • Is it really easy for you to introduce yourself to someone and immediately strike up a conversation?
  • On the other hand, is it challenging for you to walk into a room full of 50 people that you don’t know and find somebody to talk with?

If all of that matches you, then probably one of your skills is connecting with people one on one.

If this is you, then most likely the more time you spend with someone, the more they get to know you, the more likely that they’re going to end up working with you; that they become your client or your team member or perhaps they become a trusted referral partner for you.

This is a great skill and I want to give you four tips to help you leverage it even more.

First, if you’re not already in a smaller, structured, weekly referral-based networking group, I advise you to get yourself in to one as quickly as possible. This is the kind of group where your skills will really shine. Again, you won’t shine quite so brightly if you’re looking at groups where it’s like 30, 50, 100 people with that sort of cocktail party format where you just have to dive in, start talking to people and sharing your business card. Instead, look for something that’s smaller, that has consistent attendance, that has a structured format and is based on referrals.

BNI or Business Networking International is the most popular or most prevalent group and there are many others. I’m in a group with a similar format called Women in Networking here in North Carolina. We’re a weekly group that is based on sharing referrals and leads, with a structured format, and with attendance requirements. That’s super-comfortable for me.

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Cultivating the Habit of Gratitude to Feel More Peace

Want to elevate your mindset and experience more peace this holiday season?

Wow, is this a time when you can be experiencing a whole spectrum of emotions!

You can go from a Hallmark moment of happiness to thinking: I am going to kill someone in about five minutes!

There’s a huge amount of stress that comes up during the holidays because you’re with a lot of people you may not see very often, everyone has extremely high expectations that may or may not match reality; and you’re doing all your work during an extremely compressed time of the year. That all can lead to a huge amount of stress.

So I want to share a tip today about how to elevate your mindset, no matter what time of year it is, and help you experience more peace during this busy time.
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