Testimonials and Advocacy

Anybody could stand up in a courtroom and say, “I didn’t do it. I’m not guilty.”

And anybody who’d want to become a professional actor, musician, or sports figure, could say, “I’m talented. I should be cast in the role,” or given the gig, or drafted onto the team.

But that’s not how it works in our world.

If you’re heading into court, you’re going to be accompanied by an attorney, hopefully with the kind of acumen as Aaron Pierce. In fact, I say just take Aaron with you. And if you’re looking for a role, a show, a gig, or a spot on the roster, then you’re going to be backed by an agent.

In this society, we utilize advocates. People who take what would be a claim in the first person — “I am,” or “I can,” and change it into the third person — “they are,” or “they can.”

And there’s a great reason for this.

Even though everybody knows that both the attorney and the agent are being paid — incentivized by that financial compensation to speak well of their clients — it creates enough separation from a purely self-serving subjective view, to create a higher level of value and trust. Enough to transcend the baggage that comes with speaking about oneself.

Making claims on our own behalf are too biased. Of course we would deny something negative or claim something positive. And in addition, if we sound too positive about ourselves, we might come off as overconfident or “salesy,” even arrogant.

But if someone comments for us, it carries much more weight.

How perfect it is then, that one of the key components of Elevate is the opportunity for advocacy in the form of testimonials. When one of us stands up and speaks highly of another member — not about the referrals they’ve given us and how they think we’re great, but us advocating for how *they* should be given referrals — it makes a tremendous difference.

It creates validation, and is one of the strongest catalysts for building trust. And trust leads to more people engaging with that person, hiring that person, generating business with that person.

Of course, not only can we serve as advocates in the room, but also out in the world. Whenever you are making a connection between two people — unless it’s not authentic because you don’t know one or both of them directly — consider the opportunity to share something positive about each of them with the other.

By serving as an advocate for both parties, it primes the relationship for connection and bonding. It’s like a turbo charge for getting the new relationship off to a positive start.

And while business likely won’t take place unless they’re actually a fit, it will certainly maximize the chances — and have each approach the other more openly and with a positive attitude. And whether or not actual business takes place, by setting it up to start on the right foot, perhaps it may yield more referrals and more advocacy in the future.

Give testimonials. In the room, on Google, or just in general. If someone has done you right, dash off a couple lines and allow them to leverage it as marketing, or on their website, in an appropriate way. Which like all things, can be discussed. Some of my coaching clients are thrilled to share about our work on social media. Some are fine with the testimonial on my website but would rather I only use their first name or just initials. And of course, I respect all of their wishes.

Advocacy can be created, highlighted and utilized. And in a “Giver’s Gain,” environment, after referrals and direct closed business, I assert its toward the top of the impact we can have for each other.

Be an advocate. For each other, and for Elevate as a whole. And by making sure our potential advocates are crystal clear about who we are looking for, we can help others to be to advocate on our behalf.

The next time you’re in a conversation or 1:1, try this simple two question structure..

Simply ask the person or people you’re with, “Who would you like me to be talking with on your behalf?” “What would you like them to know?”

By leveraging the impact of advocacy — which works on both conscious and unconscious levels in the minds of potential clients and customers — you’ll see results. Both in your bottom line measurables, and in the energetic experience of interacting with clients, customers and colleagues.

Have fun creating bridges between people!

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