What value do they hold?
It’s much easier for me to listen to a personal account of something (whatever it might be. A new book, series, restaurant, savings scheme or…) by someone I know, and take to something. And if it’s not someone I know, I am slightly less inclined to try whatever out.
But what goes as best practice these past years, is to gather testimonials. In writing, or on camera. Showcasing them on websites and offers, in commercials and marketing. And I’ve never really thought much of it, until I spoke to C about it. And he said, bluntly:
F*ck em. Couldn’t care less. Don’t want to know, don’t want to read, don’t want to hear.
Which had me baffled. (And you’ll understand why I love hanging with him since he is so skilled at providing me with tankespjärn!)
Mostly because I had simply never really stopped to consider them. Testimonials. What good are they? Which ones provide value for me? Which ones don’t? And do I honestly receive the value I perceive from them, or am I simply affirming my own biases?
The latter reminded me of a pod (in Swedish unfortunately) with the professor of marketing and consumer behavior at the Stockholm School of Economics Micael Dahlén. He spoke on biases and grades, TripAdvisor and book reviews and basically said the same thing C did, but with a bit more data to back him up.
Now… I love receiving constructive feedback from others, on things I’ve done, on courses I’ve given, on workshops I’ve facilitated, and it feels great to have my ego stroked when the feedback if gushingly positive, but is there any use in showcasing that type of feedback? Or are they more of an ego-boost?
I’ve heard and read Seth Godin say, on a number of occasions, to not look at reviews or comments.
I’ve heard and read Brené Brown say, on a number of occasions, to not listen to anybody who isn’t themselves in the arena, to use her phrase. Not the negative expletives. understandably, but not the positive gushings either, because both will skew your view. Neither is of service to you or your craft.
So. What’s the value of a testimonial? Truly?
Tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.