Build Credibility through Your Brag Book
by Lori Colborne
Brag Book is ideal to build credibility with potential clients. Every business needs a Brag Book. A Brag Book is a collection of testimonial letters, awards, commendations and media coverage. They may include photographs of your work or before & after pictures. A Brag Book is ideal to build credibility with potential clients.
To develop your Brag Book you need to request letters from your most satisfied customers. This should be an ongoing practice as up to date letters are important to reflect your current quality of service or product. Always include letters from your past in your Brag Book to show your history.
Do not ask for a letter of reference; use the word ‘evaluation’ instead. By calling it an evaluation, you let the writer know that you welcome all comments - both positive and negative.
If you are having difficulty obtaining these letters, here is another option. Phone your clients. Acknowledge that they are very busy, but you value their input and would they consider allowing you to interview them. Ask questions pertaining to their experience in using your services. Use their answers to draft a letter. Send it to the client for editing or approval. Ask the client to print it onto their corporate letterhead and sign it. Then set a date to pick up the letter and drop off a thank you gift or follow-up with a phone call and send the gift. It is always good manners to give a little thank you gift to anyone who does something for you. If you do not make this extra effort, you may never receive the finished letter.
Getting your customers to work for you through testimonials is the most cost effective way to increase your business.
Brag Books may be part of your face-to-face client presentation and can be displayed at your place of business. As well, copies of the testimonials can be included with written proposals. Excerpts can be used in brochures, newsletters, advertising, and on your website.
Do not ask for a letter of reference, instead, use the word ‘evaluation’. By calling them evaluations, you let the writer know that you welcome all comments, both positive and negative.
If you are having difficulty obtaining these letters, here is another
option. Phone you clients and acknowledge that they are very busy, but
that you greatly value their input and wonder if they would consider allowing
you to interview them. Use their responses to create a letter that can
be sent back to the client for approval, revision and reproduction onto
their corporate letterhead for signature.
Persevere - although these letters are not always easy to obtain. They are an invaluable marketing tool and worth the effort!
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