A testimonial is the only proof you need to spread the word that you know what you’re doing and that you can impact people’s lives. Though, getting these quality testimonials is a different story altogether and requires some work on your end. In this episode, Alex Mandossian shares the different strategies he uses to get testimonials from people with authority and thought leaders of their field. He goes into the details of the questions you should be asking to get testimonials from the heart. Learn the differences of testimonials from endorsements and case studies to figure out what you need most.
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Get Quality Testimonials
The year is 2004. My good friend and business partner, Yanik Silver, launched a new course called Mind Motivators. We’re proud of it. We’ve recorded on TeleSeminars. This is the years before there was YouTube, Twitter or all the other social influence and social media platforms. There were no webinars at this time. We use teleseminars and we had notes. We had executive summaries on the curriculum design that I teach and we had our TeleSeminar recordings.
We were done and we’re making a lot of money and all of a sudden, we get an unexpected call from a legend. In fact, it wasn’t even a call. It was an email from Joe Sugarman. If you’re not familiar with Joe Sugarman. He’s one of my mentors for copywriting. He’s one of the pioneers in direct response marketing. He’s known for the BluBlockers Sunglasses infomercial where he made hundreds of millions of dollars.
He had launched a book called Triggers and the promise of the book, and you should get it if you don’t have it already, is how to motivate, influence and persuade others. That was the trio benefits and advantages of the promise of the book. Usually, the subtitle of the book is the promise of the book and the title is what the book is. The subtitle is what the book does.
[bctt tweet=”One of the ways to get great or quality testimonials from thought leaders is to ask.” username=”AlexMandossian”]
Joe was upset and he had contacted us. He was upset because he thought that we had plagiarized his promise: motivate, influence and persuade. Yanik and I were mortified. We asked three questions and that was, “Joe, what happened?” He said, “There’ll be a lot of confusion with the promise of your course. You’re talking about motivating, influencing and persuading.”
Honestly, we didn’t do it on purpose, but maybe after reading the book, Triggers, it came to our minds and we did it inadvertently. That doesn’t make it okay. It doesn’t pardon that result. Otherwise, it’s an excuse. Reasons or results aren’t something that you should be unfamiliar with. It’s in episode 70.
We didn’t give any reasons. We wanted to analyze the result of what he was upset about because Joe is a level-minded guy and this was our first meeting with him. Yanik and I were mortified. I thought, “Here are these two young marketers and we’re already upsetting a marketing legend.” I thought, “How can we monetize this mortification that we have?” We wanted to shoot ourselves because we knew we did something wrong to upset him. He’s human.
He told us what happened and I asked him, “Joe, what should have happened?” He said, “Change the promise.” I said, “Is that how we can make it right?” He said, “Sure.” I said, “We’ll do that immediately,” and we did. We sent it back to him. We were less mortified at the time. I did something that was expecting a result but I was hoping for one. I said, “Joe, now that we’ve done this, is it okay if we get a testimonial from you? It would be amazing if we could get a legendary endorsement.”
I didn’t say it that way because I thought it would be embellishment and he’s smarter than that but he said yes. We interviewed him and something that was a complete lemon turned into lemonade and we got a great endorsement. Other endorsements came as a result and Joe now is a close friend of both of ours, starting back in 2004.
I’ve gone to events with him. I’ve shared the stage with him at a mutual friend’s mansion. We’ve done pull-ups together on video. It’s incredible. He knows my family and he remembers my name as I remember his.
What is the moral of this story? First of all, if someone calls you and is upset, even if what you did is unintentional. We took the promise of his book Triggers and he said, “People will think it’s causing confusion.” He didn’t say, “You guys plagiarized me,” because he didn’t know that to be true and it wasn’t. We didn’t do it intentionally, whereas plagiarism is intentional.
If you steal from one source, that’s plagiarism. If you borrow from many, that’s called research. We did our research, but it was exactly word for word almost to the subtitle of Triggers. I want you to know that even though it was unintentional, it does not pardon the result that we got. We didn’t give any reasons, rationalizations or alibis. All we did is we changed the promise of Mind Motivators. That’s it.
We’ve since retired that course. By inviting Joe, who was not an ally at that moment, but to become a thought leader, to interview him and get his opinion on these Mind Motivators, even get his advice, he not only became an endorsement, but he became a great friend. Isn’t that a great story?
One of the ways to get great testimonials from thought leaders or quality testimonials is first to ask. These are thought leaders whom you admire and they should know a little something about you. Either you follow them for a while or they get to know you. They don’t have to be best friends, but they get to know you and they get to know your work. Maybe they’re introduced to you by a mutual friend, that’s the fastest way.
When you ask for the testimonial or the endorsement, maybe on a book or for a course, don’t only ask them for the testimonial or the endorsement because that’s giving them more work. Write three samples of the ideal testimonial or endorsement and ask them, “I wrote these for you. Which one of these do you think would be most authentic that could represent you?”
I’ve done that with people like Harvey Mackay, Larry King, Jack Canfield, and a lot of thought leaders that I’ve admired who are now friends and associates. I’ve done that with George Foreman, the great heavyweight boxer. By writing it for them and giving them a choice, they get to choose. The worst they can say is, “None of these,” but I’ve never had that said and I’ve done this over 50 times.
In fact, if you go to MarketingOnline.com and on that landing page, there is a pointing finger down. If you click that pointing finger, it’s a link and you’ll see a movie in the background. If you click the pointing finger, you can scroll down and check out all the testimonials. I would say over half of them, I wrote for those thought leaders to choose from.
Endorsement, Testimonial, And Case Studies
That begs the question, what’s the difference between an endorsement and a testimonial? There’s one other one called a case study. What’s the difference between those three species of endorsements? An endorsement is where someone says, “This is a good guy, a good marketer or a great female leader,” whatever the case may be. They’re talking about you they’re endorsing you. They’re saying whatever this person does is quality stuff. I endorse this person wholeheartedly.
An endorsement is the lowest tier or the lowest level of value, for me, in the form of a testimonial or someone saying good things about you. A testimonial, according to my definition is someone giving you a testimonial on a specific book, course or on a piece of work that you’ve done, maybe coaching.
Not only are they endorsing you, that they’re endorsing me, Alex, but they’re endorsing the fact that I can triple your income and double your time off or I can double your profit without spending a single penny on advertising or marketing. That’s our Clear Path Coaching testimonials that I get. Testimonials are one level up or one tier up from an endorsement. Both are good endorsements. You’re more likely to get to thought leaders’ testimonials.
I like ordinary people to give them, men or women on the streets to give them or actual students who have got the job done, but they can be thought leaders as well. I’ve had many thought leaders today who were once students and they’ve given me endorsements like Ryan Levesque, Ryan Deiss, Vishen Lakhaini, Russell Brunson. There are many names like that. The highest level that you want to go after is a case study.
The case study follows the methodology of PAR, the Problem, Action and Result. It’s a case history. Before meeting Alex and taking his course, here’s the problem I had. After taking the course, here are the actions I took. As a result of those actions, here are the results I got. The result doesn’t always have to be positive, but it has to be definitive and it has to be something you can measure.
If you want to know the difference between reasons or results, you can go back to a previous episode, episode 70, and I give a full explanation. There was an actual coaching methodology developed by T. Harv Eker called Reasons or Results, which I had something to do with.
Extraordinary people are ideal for endorsements and testimonials because they’re easier to deliver and give. The ordinary people who are men and women on the streets, people who no one else would know are ideal for case studies because the people reading them or reviewing them say, “If they can do it, I can do it too.”
The best-case studies are the ones that have the problem action result where you have side-by-side, let’s say before and after. Usually in weight loss, you’ll see the person before they were 25 pounds overweight and after and look at how they are now. The best-case study I’ve ever seen was taught to me by the great Bill Phillips. He taught me the before after-after.
Bill has done many things over the years. You can look them up on Google, but he’s been in fitness. He made millions of dollars selling a specific company. I’ve been to his mansion many times. The before after-after is something he did during his twelve-week challenge, which is famous.
It’s, “Before I took the twelve-week challenge, here’s what I look like, it wasn’t good. After twelve weeks, I took the challenge. Here’s what I look like.” The second after is, “It’s been years and look at me.” That’s the most powerful case study you can think of. The before and after is good but the before after-after is the best.
Before I took Alex’s training, I was broke. I was $70,000 in debt. After I went through the 63 days of the training, I was debt-free. Years later, I’ve had my first $1 million year. That’s a world-class case study. Once again, by giving an example to someone and they can give you a testimonial. The best one I can think of is Harvey Mackay.
I called him up. I said, “Harvey, I would want you to give me a testimonial.” He says, “Sure, Alex. Anything you need because we’re friends.” We’ve known each other for over twenty years. We started a mastermind together called the Harvey Mackay Roundtable. I said, “Would you be willing to say that Alex Mandossian is the Warren Buffett of digital marketing?” He said, “Sure, put my name to that.” It was easy as that because I had the relationship.
I’ve done testimonials where I’ve sent them to Roland Frasier, Ryan Deiss, Vishen Lakhiani, Russell Brunson, Larry King, George Foreman, the list goes on. That also begs the question, how do you do heart-centered video testimonials? What questions do you ask people? This is where most people fail when it gets down to getting quality testimonials.
The Testimonial Template
You’ve got to ask specific questions and here’s the way I do it. I don’t know anyone else who does it this way and I’ll give you an example so you can see the demonstration reel that I play at my events after I’ve made my offer. Here are the four questions that we ask the students. Question number one is, “Why is Alex such a special teacher?”
The template is, “Why is such and such so special?” It could be the course or the person. My question is, “Why is Alex such a special teacher?” That’s an endorsement. The second question is, “What roadblocks did I overcome as a result of Alex’s training?” It could be what roadblocks he overcomes as a result of reading this book or taking this course, but it’s the roadblocks. It’s the moving away from the question.
Number three is, “What results are possible being taught or coached by Alex?” It could be, “What results are possible as a result of taking this course, reading this book or getting coached by this person?” The result is the possibility question, the bigger, brighter future question.
[bctt tweet=”A result doesn’t always have to be positive, but it has to be definitive and be something you can measure.” username=”AlexMandossian”]
The fourth question is, “Why would you recommend Alex to your friends and colleagues?” It could be a template. “Why would you recommend this training to others?” “Why would you recommend this book?” “Why would you recommend this coaching?” If it’s not a specific person. Question one is, why special? Question two is, what are the roadblocks? Number three is, what results are possible? Number four is, why would you recommend?
Here’s what I do. I get one of my assistants, mentors, coaches and even my general manager to get someone on a Zoom or Skype chat or something video and I would ask them to have the student repeat the question. This is the way it would sound like, “Alex is such a special teacher because,” that’s number one, “The roadblocks I overcame after working with Alex are,” or, “The results possible as a result of working with Alex are,” and, “The reasons I would recommend Alex are because.”
Every student repeats the question in the beginning because I never know what student I’m going to use for the beginning. I always use the best student and I have hundreds of these. I’ll usually start with the best intro, “Alex is that special teacher because,” and I’ll get that full testimonial from that person.
I’ll only use that person for the first question and I’ll use other people to complete the sentence stem. The stem of the sentence is why I’m such a special teacher. The rest of the testimonials for that specific question will be, “Because of this. Because of that.” It’s a Gatling gun approach.
For the second question, “The roadblocks I overcame are,” one student will say that and the rest of the students will talk about the roadblocks themselves. They’re not going to repeat the question but I have everyone do all four questions so I can pick the best one. My testimonial reel is over five minutes. If you want to watch it and borrow from it, you want to steal any part of it, I’m giving it to you as a result of this show. You can go to MarketingOnline.com/fan.
Alexism: Premise Precedes Purpose
The Alexism for this episode is this, “The premise always precedes purpose. What you believe determines why you believe it. Once you change your premise, your life will change.” I learned from the philosopher and the creator of Objectivity, Ayn Rand. I borrowed a piece of that from there, but I believe the premise does precede purpose. The purpose is not the thing. It’s what you believe and why you believe it in that order that makes all the difference.
Let’s do a quick review of the insights you and I both rediscovered in this 71st episode of All Selling Aside. Remember, they can only work if you work them. Number one, you’ll learn how to get great testimonials from thought leaders you admire by simply making yourself and them aware of you and offering them options and sending them to testimonials after they say yes. They pick one and you’ll get them instantly. You don’t have to wait forever and wonder if they still like you.
Number two, how to separate endorsements, testimonials and case studies. Endorsements are the lowest level. They’re usually about you. Testimonials are about you and the product or offer that you have. Case studies are much greater. They’re an actual story of experience of your product before, during and after the PAR formula that I taught you, problem action and result.
The best type of before and after is what I learned from the great Bill Phillips, before after-after. Before we did this, this is what happened. After we did this, this is what it looked like. It’s been years and look at me now. That’s before after-after.
Remember, these insights will only work for you if you work them. Please make sure you execute what you’ve learned in this All Selling Aside episode because if you do, your future will be bigger, look brighter and you’ll create it on your own terms. Is that getting you excited? It can be fearful but get excited instead because excitement is a much better emotion compared to fear.
Speaking of reviews, if you’ve already given me a review, thank you because most people give me reviews on iTunes and they rate them and also subscribe. If you’ve already given me one, again, thank you and I want you to write your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment from this episode on an index card so that you can review it later on.
If you haven’t given me a review on iTunes, it’s time to go to AllSellingAside.com/itunes and write your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment in the reviews section. Don’t review the podcast as a whole. Give me your aha moment for this episode in the iTunes reviews section. If you have an Android, you can do it on Stitcher. We’re also on Google Play. It’ll mean much to me. We’ll go up in the ranking so other people can see it.
This is many years of sales and marketing know-how and how to avoid mistakes delivered in 25-minute chunks every week so it’s a public service. I want you to review it in the form of an a-ha moment or takeaway. Please rate the episode and I do hope I’ve earned five stars as a result of this episode. Subscribe with iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play.
Will you review, rate and subscribe? It’ll take three minutes out of your day but what you declare publicly could provide you and others the value of learning a lesson permanently. Go to AllSellingAside.com/itunes.
I’ve got one final gift to give you in honor of this 71st episode of All Selling Aside, and that’s a physical copy of my Amazon bestselling book, Alexisms. You’ll get access to it and the most reliable marketing funnel that can triple what you show for a physical free offer on a book page.
If they pay for shipping and handling, I can show you how to triple even quadruple that amount by the magic funnel that I was taught by a student of mine. His name is Russell Brunson. You can experience it right here and right now at MarketingOnline.com/book. You’ll get a video tutorial of each step of that magic funnel, I promise you.
[bctt tweet=”Premise always precedes purpose. What you believe determines why you believe it.” username=”AlexMandossian”]
That does it for this episode. I hope our paths cross again on the next episode for All Selling Aside. This is the show dedicated to making you an ethical influencer because ethical influence is a learnable skill and that will bring more certainty into your personal and professional life. Please do whatever it takes to join me next episode because our topic is obliterating their objections.
Who’s ‘their’? It’s everyone that you face. It could be a child, a spouse, a friend, a brother, a sister, a prospect, or a colleague. I encourage you to invite a friend, colleague, or study buddy to All Selling Aside. In fact, don’t wait. You can invite one now to AllSellingAside.com. I can’t wait to connect with you because obliterating their objections is going to be one of my favorite episodes and I’ve done over 70 of them.
This is number 71. It’s going to be a super fun episode and I want you to join us with your study buddy because it’s a lot more fun when you study and learn with someone else. I am the creator of AllSellingAside.com and I can’t wait for a pass across on the next episode.
Links and Resources:
- Alex Mandossian
- Alex Mandossian Fan on Facebook
- Alex’s Friday Live events
- Marketing Online 4-Part Video Training Series
- Alex Mandossian on YouTube
- Alexisms by Alex Mandossian
- All Selling Aside on iTunes
- Alex Mandossian’s free live Friday show
- Joe Sugarman
- Triggers by Joseph Sugarman
- All Selling Aside, Ep. 70: Give Reasons or Results
- Alex’s Testimonial Reel
- Harvey Mackay
- Larry King
- Jack Canfield
- George Foreman
- Ryan Levesque
- Ryan Deiss
- Vishen Lakhiani
- Russell Brunson
- Harv Eker
- Bill Phillips
- Ayn Rand
- Yanik Silver
- iTunes – All Selling Aside Podcast
- Stitcher – All Selling Aside Podcast
- Google Play – All Selling Aside Podcast