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All The Raves A customer's praise could be your flier's best headline.

By Jerry Fisher

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If there's a single solitary soul out there who loves yourproduct or service and is willing to express that feeling forpublication, you not only have a valued testimonial but combustiblematerial for a powerful ad. So while I'm forever beseechingreaders to harvest their customer base for testimonials and tosprinkle them liberally throughout ad materials, don't fret ifyou haven't already done that. Another approach is to get theconsent of just one enthusiastic client to reprint the good thingshe or she has said about your company. Then give those comments thelead role in your advertising.

That's my message to Susan Justice of Woodacre, California,who wrote recently. Justice, co-founder of OneSpirit Healing ArtsCenter, is a certified clinical hypnotherapist who specializes inhealth issues, emotional problems and spirituality. Her currentflier-brochure leads off with her specialty--hypnotherapy--as aheadline, but it's not done to the flier's advantage. I saythis because hypnotherapy is still controversial to many, andperhaps misunderstood by others. So it behooves Justice to firstentice prospects with the benefits of her therapy before she tellsthem about the means by which they're attained. And perhaps themost credible way to do that is through the testimony of someonewho's experienced her service firsthand. Hence my thought aboutusing a testimonial to lead off this advertisement.

As an example of the power of a tossed bouquet, I often cite thetestimonials that accompanied two educational products that came onthe market about 10 years ago. One's called Where There's aWill There's an A--a system to help students develop betterstudy habits. The other is Hooked on Phonics, a program that giveslittle kids a leg up on elementary language formation. Thecompanies that created these products put out a few great TVcommercials, each concentrating on real-life testimonials fromparents and children. The customers' unvarnished feelings,expressed in the most genuine, honest and heartfelt way possible,were the real power of these spots. Could anyone possibly say no tosincerity like that? Apparently not, because both products werestill selling rather well the last time I heard.

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