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fourseasons
16-09-2005, 07:46 AM
Hello
I am in the process of setting up a business. The business relies on testimonials, good words from others and referrals from customers.

I am not sure if i should tell customers that I am new and that I have had no customers before and that they would be among the first customers. The business is planning weddings and events, such as parties etc. So customers would look for someone who is experienced.

I have considered offering a discount off my services for say the first 6 mths to attract customers.

I have also considered using family and friends as testimonials, even though they would be lying on my behalf.

Please help!!

Statler
19-09-2005, 10:51 AM
Hi,

I've no doubt that some websites use false testimonials, but it's not really a very ethical thing to do, and could damage your reputation if word got out. To be honest, I don't think you'll get many customers asking how long you've been in business.

Also, I would only offer discounts if you can afford to do so. Don't be afraid to charge a reasonable amount for your service - in fact, people will often pay a little bit extra if they feel they're getting a more professional service than a cheaper alternative. People often under-sell their serivces in the hope of getting a foothold in the market, but this can actually lead to the business failing very quickly.

I think the best thing you can do is be as professional as possible, offer excellent customer service, and the good testimonials will follow suit.

Lee

annepink
19-09-2005, 11:33 AM
What do you feel your qualifications are, ie if someone says to you "why should I use you rather than an experienced planner?" what would you say to convince them?

We all have a 'first.' As a coach what I did to build up my credibility was to do some free coaching sessions and collect feedback, and I also referred to my previous career and identified similar skills. Perhaps you could offer to do a friend's wedding and then elicit a genuine testimonial.

However tempting don't build your business and reputation on a lie - your future business will rely on the client's trust in you; once you have a reputation for telling lies it will be difficult to get it back - just be confident in your talents.