Some companies write out fake testimonials from ‘Susan’ or ‘Jack’. It’s so prevalent that even if there really was a Susan or Jack who wrote those testimonials we wouldn’t believe it. Our culture has become immune to virtually nameless testimonials.
So open yourself up to programs like Yelp and online commentaries and letting people write out what they think on their letterhead or business cards. Get video testimonials, Facebook posts and twitter mentions.
If you’re afraid of asking, read Referral Marketing by John Jantsch, a book I’ll be reviewing soon.
If you’re afraid of what people will say: fix your product/service so that they won’t say it.
You simply cannot win long-term customers by lying.