Testimonials Vs. Referrals: What’s The Difference?

Testimonials and referrals are both prized for businesses. But sometimes people confuse the meaning of these terms and don’t understand the full value and benefits that each has to offer. So here they are in a nutshell along with a summary of what the difference is.Testimonials

Testimonials are comments that people make after using your products or services. They are often sent back in an email or postal-mailed letter mentioning a thank you for sending the item of purchase along with specific praise about certain aspects of the sale or product / service itself. The comments may focus on how the price was fantastic for the value and quality or any number of other positive feedback remarks may be included.

Wise marketers use these comments in marketing materials: on web pages, in brochures, on sales letters, etc. Because these comments are providing proof, positive feedback from buyers, that the products and services are good and worthy of purchasing, thus helping other shoppers decide to buy if in doubt at all about you and the items that you have for sale.


Referrals are often sought by wise marketers, sales associates and other business people. For example, sales reps go to clients who’ve purchased something and even those who’ve tire-kicked but may not have bought yet, and ask for names and contact info (that will remain confidential) of others who may be interested. Then the sales person will follow up with the new leads, mentioning that so-and-so referred them and get a foot in the door right away by building rapport immediately when mentioning the common friend or associate (the person who referred them). This advances the sales process and helps close more sales.

The Difference

The difference is that referrals generally have not yet tried your products and services. They can learn about them through your testimonials. But they either haven’t purchased them or have purchased other items from you and need an introduction and presentation (that can sure include your testimonials) in order to help close their new sales, too.

As both testimonials and referrals are valuable, seek both consistently. Always ask your shoppers for referrals, whether they buy or not. And once they do buy or test any trial offers or freebies you may hand out, ask them right away for feedback.

Plan for growth in advance by systematically planning to ask for both referrals and testimonials in your daily marketing and sales practices.

Submitted By: Brian D. McElroy
Taken from: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=173790&ca=Marketing