Testimonials are used in marketing circles to promote everything from real estate to child care services, but did you know that testimonials are made and used every day by ordinary people with personal or financial interest in the firm they are promoting? It sounds impossible, but it's true. Testimonials aren't just sought out and recorded by sales divisions, they're also water cooler talk with your work buddies about how great a certain company's effluent treatment chemical worked in your septic system, or how comfortable you feel in the new brand of shirt you bought. You are relating your successes with these products to your buddies, who may then be influenced to get some for themselves because they believe you when you say that they work.
This type of word-of-mouth testimonial is used especially by factories and manufacturing firms. Their customers are distributors and wholesalers rather than individuals, so TV or magazine ads would only reach a small handful of appropriate people and simply confuse the rest. For this reason manufacturers attend product fairs and encourage existing clients who have had success in their agglomeration efforts with the company's special brand product to recommend it to other companies in their field who require similar services.
Word of mouth and testimonials from people who have successfully used a product or service, such as a product like electrical wires to services offered, such as interactions with a mortgage broker in Toronto. When was the last time you saw a television commercial for clean up services after water damages your home? Never, right? That's because you wouldn't know what they were offering and wouldn't have the need to use them unless your home floods. So instead, the company targets insurance firms and plies them with testimonials from other clients about how well their services has worked out for them.
Another form of testimonials used to sell factory product is the demonstration. Why simply have someone say a product worked great when you can pair that recommendation with a demonstration of the actual product in action? Take drug screening kits for example. You could have a company manager simply say how the kits were easy to use and helped weed out employees who were taking drugs in the workplace. Or you could have him say it while a the machine gives a workup on a sample of blood mixed with a narcotic. Which would be more effective?
The fact is, without advertising in general and testimonials in particular, trying to make a living selling factory products to wholesalers would be like trying to navigate a system of wire ducts without a flashlight. You would be trying to connect the wires from the power source at one end to the motor at the other, but without a light to show you where to go you'd be lost in the twists and turns. Testimonials are the light that shows company reps which motor (customer) is in need of the wire (product). For this reason, although testimonials have been around for hundreds of years, they are unlikely to ever be phased out.