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May 02, 2007


Steven M. Stroum

John Windsor makes a valid point about the power of testimonials. We use them frequently with respect to marketing our services. However, my piece refers to using quotes from people within a company who are talking about their OWN products, in the context of submitting product releases.

John Windsor

I totally agree that flowery, vacuous quotes are useless. That's particularly true when the quotes don't sound like real speech or writing, as in the example you cite.

But quotes and testimonials DO have a place, if they're from real people saying real things. In fact, one of the six Principles of Persuasion from Robert Cialdini establishes the power of others' words in helping people decide whether or not buy. Specifically, Cialdini says "People decide what is appropriate for them to do in a situation by examining what others are doing." And the effect of this principle is amplified by the experiences -- and words -- of *similar* others.

Read Cialdini's book, "Influence", and you'll see that -- properly handled -- quotes do have a place in the persuasion process. (The particular principle in question, btw, is "Consensus".)

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