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Testimonials: The Power of Other People’s Opinion
This is my site Written by Neil Palmquist on May 19, 2009 – 10:10 am

CAREER POINTERS:

Testimonials: The Power of Other People’s Opinion

For a business, nothing is as powerful a sales tool as that of a customers’ favorable written endorsement; namely, the testimonial. A company can speak as highly of their product and/or draw as many superior comparative examples with that of their competitors’ products and/or services as they would like… it will always be deemed biased simply because it is coming from the company. However, the voice of the consumer has no such bias and is therefore the most welcome and powerful endorsement a company could ever hope for. The wise individual will take note of this power and recognize that the same power of endorsement that helps a company grow by leaps and bounds can hold the same power and results for the individual when it comes to their career.

Make sense? I sure hope so, because when it comes to seeking Testimonials I must ask you to “DO as I say… and NOT as I do!” I have always been poor in following up good service with a request for referrals and/or written testimonials. Mind you, as a consultant my career has been made by good-hearted, business owners kind enough to refer me to others, but I have always been poor in soliciting such rewards.

As such, let me change that right here and now by proactively extending my neck and requesting of all of you that you reward the Investment Banking Simulator with any favorable testimonials you feel comfortable submitting for post to our website. …We may be a young venture, but if I had been properly following up every paid verbal compliment with a request for a written one… we would easily have dozens of written testimonials posted. I’ve had the good fortune to have received compliments from most all of you at one point or another, but never consider requesting something for post. So, I’ll change that now. Please help the Investment Banking Simulator, make up for my shortcoming… and submit a kind word or two you are comfortable with.

…There! Now that my credibility is established that I believe in this enough to practice what I preach… I’ll get back to how I think you can use tap the power of the testimonial to help you with your own career. My suggestion?… Create a “Career Log Book” of Testimonials!

Through out your career you will be asked to provide references and evidence of the good value you have to bring to the table. Just imagine if you had a small reference list (or better yet a whole log book) of all the favorable statements people have made about you and/or your work… Would it be fair to say that such a list of testimonials would be powerful?

I know many of you might feel that you just don’t have the client exposure and/or position to warrant such requests from clients and for some of your early career positions that may be true, but over the course of a lifetime I’m dead certain that everyone will.

Also bear in mind that a testimonial needn’t always come from a customer or client… For the early in their career and low client contact people… Know that a kind written word would still hold value if it was from a colleague, employer, a member of a team project, a professor… or even someone you just assisted on a volunteer project. If you did something of value, chances are someone noticed it and could therefore be asked to write something. If someone pays you a compliment or acknowledges your work, follow up with a request to put it to paper.

The point is that there is not one individual on this email list that does not help someone or impress someone from time to time, if not on a daily basis… and that by asking them to submit a favorable sentence or two on your behalf, you could accumulate a log book of your positive feedback to carry with you as a badge of honor throughout your career… Perhaps it would only serve to boost your morale and sense of efficacy… but, potentially, it could develop into something that could help position you ahead of competition that lacked such foresight.

That said… I’d be proud to be everyone’s first entry in their new book. …Because there is not one of you I don’t think is doing a fantastic job and has what it takes to make themselves a success.

“You’re doing fantastic work! Keep up the good work and don’t forget us when you’re a success!”

Neil Palmquist CMAA, CEPA, Director, Investment Banking Simulator

May 5th, 2009

Have a happy Cinco de Mayo …and NEVER hesitate to call!

Best Regards,

Neil

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