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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Make Customers Very Happy

Customer testimonies are a key to unlock sales and to get those testimonials you have to make sure that customers are more than satisfied.

Key Question:


Make sure they are happy and they will come back and send you more business.

Potential customers love to hear what current customers have to say about you and your products and services. Fortunately, Ericsson of Australia became a customer of Brookstone early on so the tiny company has major marketplace validation from a company everyone has heard of. What could more perfect than to have the company that touts itself as the world's leading supplier of telecommunications using your software product?

Q: How do you think John won Ericsson's business?

A: We don't know the story actually but we will guess that since the decision was made in Perth, it goes back to John's fine reputation and his commitment to living and raising a family in Perth. People do business with people. It would be hard to sell a new product to Ericsson by flying into their world headquarters located Stockholm, Sweden if you had no prior relationships with anyone in the company.

Q: How can you better use customer testimonials in your sales and marketing efforts?

The strong small companies we have studied here do this day in and day out. Low tech examples include Le Travel Store's habit of asking customers to post on the store bulletin board insider travel tips. This recognizes customers and shows shoppers that the owners value the repeat business and that this store is not just about selling things, it really all helping customers have fabulous travel experiences. One dentist with over $1 million in annual sales frames letters he receives from happy patients and hangs them in the waiting room. Time and again we have seen multi-million dollar catalog companies post the pictures of customers so employees know who they are really working for.

The first thing you have to do to use testimonials is to get them. Ask customers to write you a letter on their stationery or even volunteer to write it for them after you interview them. Ask for their stationery, print it up and get them to read it and sign it. It's good to get written notes and letters but even verbal comments can be used if you ask permission. We observe big companies using real customers in marketing efforts which tells us, this technique works.

Think about it

When is the last time you asked a customer for a testimonial? When was the last time you asked a customer if there is anything you can do to improve your product or service to meet their needs even more effectively?

Clip from: Brookstone Technologies of Australia

Run Your Office From Your Pocket.  Be anywhere!  Be everywhere!

Perth and Sydney:  Meet the folks of Brookstone Technologies. They created virtual office software so they could be anywhere and still have their entire office with them.  

Perth is the most remote, largest "big city" on earth (three hours by airplane to another city over 1M), yet it is in a time zone that is home to half the earth's population!  It is known as GMT+8 (Greenwich Mean Time plus 8 hours). This time zone includes Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, and more.

John Stockbridge and Errol Pollnow merged two struggling information technology companies to form what is now a strong, creative enterprise with customers all over the world.

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Brookstone Technologies (EP)

Errol Pollnow, Founder

20/443 Albany Highway

+61 (0)8 6467 7788

Visit our web site:

Office: +61 (0)8 6467 7788

Business Classification:
Information Services

Year Founded: 1987

Make Customers Very Happy

HATTIE: (Voiceover) On a perfect summer day, the two get out of the office to enjoy the city's famous harbor.

ALLISTER FOREST: (Voiceover) Well, essentially MarketMeasure is extending the desktop to the investor, the funds manager, the trader, those people that like to go to the golf course occasionally or have a cup of coffee and they like to feel in touch with the market. What we're saying is they don't have to be tied to the desktop anymore, they can go for lunch and enjoy meeting their customers or friends and still remain fully in control of their market exposures. If we see that--well, we think we're ahead of the field at the moment, but if we see that there is something that a particular customer or client wants, we're able to talk with the team in Perth and, bless their hearts, they just turn around and--you know, I don't know how they do it, but they do it. And we get a good result. But I am very impressed with the overall VBO platform. It is incredibly rich. I mean, it's the sort of thing that Microsoft themselves would have loved to have produced. And only a small team of people to have done that. I think it's almost a sort of David and Goliath effort. (Voiceover) It's really impressive, and it's rare to come across that in the IT world, people that can genuinely deliver and deliver on time and, you know, generally below budget. And, you know, it's pretty special.

JOHN: What we're endeavoring to deliver is not perhaps the next new thing, but the next easiest way of running and maintaining the business you currently have and to make that affect your bottom line. So too often in the past, I think particularly in the last five or eight years, what's happened is that software development has been for software development's sake, and it's been, you know, I have to be on the Net because everybody else is on the Net. However, I think now that, you know, the financial accountants and managers of businesses are saying, `Well, you know, if this doesn't provide me a return, either in, you know, hard dollars to my bottom line or more control of my organization, better knowledge of my customers, I want to know what they're buying, I want to know my team of sales people, who they've been talking to and what they've been talking about.' If none of those things are delivered, then why would you buy the software in the first place?

ERROL: I think the very first sale happened within a month or six weeks perhaps of getting together with the very worthy company Ericsson.

HATTIE: So Ericsson bought Virtual Office.

ERROL: They did, for a particular application that they had a need for and the functionality of our software. So naturally we were delighted.

HATTIE: Because what does that do for you in your next sales call to say, `Ericsson is one of our customers'?

ERROL: It's very, very helpful.

HATTIE: Did you target them thinking, `They're precisely the kind of organization we want using our product and ...'

ERROL: Our target market actually, apart from being cross-industry, is anybody who will pay us.


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