Testimonials? Effective or Not? | Travel Research Online


Testimonials? Effective or Not?


I was recently asked to give the old “once-over” to a document which was going to be used as a selling tool. Over all, I really liked the content, layout, coloring system and ease of reading. It was a solid piece.

In the ABOUT section, there was a list of client testimonials which caught my eye. There is not a doubt about it, buyers today (all consumers) suspect all products and services these days and, I hasten to add, for some very good reasons.

In this fast-paced, highly competitive world of ours there seems to be an abundance of professional “wanna-be’s” who feel that by taking a short-cut they can beat the competition to the bank. It seems that a good recommendation from somebody we trust can help us cut through the clutter and, at the very least, hedge our bets.

Back to my assignment. The one thing that caught my attention in all of the testimonials listed was the fact that they were very specific. They mentioned an exact trip with sincere appreciation to an exact service.

Let me give you an example as to what I am talking about.


Weak: “Our trip was handled flawlessly by your staff and your attention to detail was the best we have ever received.”

This in and of itself is a very glowing report and probably made the agents smile with pride.

Better: “The way Maria handled every minute detail on our vacation to Italy, (from initial research to including that unexpected “Packing List”) exceeded our every expectation… by miles. Maria is a “keeper.” You can bet I will be spreading the word.”


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You get the idea. Specifics speak louder than generalities.

Then I noticed the signature at the bottom of each glowing report: MM Florida, DJ New York, CG Chicago…

To put a little more “meat” on the testimonial “bone,” I suggest a person with a real name take responsibility for their feelings. And one more thing.

People are smart enough to realize when the five testimonials you write are from:

  1. Your aunt
  2. Your mother
  3. Your college roommate
  4. Your priest
  5. Somebody you made up

HINT: Have a few more in readiness because the savvy shopper will be asking for #6.

Bottom Line: Testimonials are good things. Treat them like the good selling tool they are.


Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.

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