In our Hot Topic this week we have Julian Lumpkin on the program to give us his take on how to increase your close rates NOW? How you can close more deals by introducing real social proof into your sales cycles. As well as showing your prospects real stories and results with Case Studies and Testimonials.
The most effective way to reach your audience is not through your own words, it’s through the words of your clients! You need customer stories – written and video formats! If you aren’t getting these done yourself, check out SuccessKit.io to see how they can handle it for you!
To read more about this week’s podcast click here!!
Creating And Using Testimonials With Julian Lumpkin
It is Monday, January 10th, 2022. We’re so excited to have you joining us. I’ve got Jack Nunnery as my co-host. Jack, it’s good to have you on the show with me. This show is created by mortgage professionals. It is for mortgage professionals and we’re so grateful to have you as our audience. Our commitment is to bring you timely information that you can tune in anytime, anywhere.
We’re excited to have you here. We’re bringing you some timely information we want to talk about. The Hot Topic segment is one that I’m excited to provide to you. Julian Lumpkin, who is the Founder and CEO of SuccessKit, will be on the show. He’s going to give us some ideas on how to increase your sales and close more effectively with people that are considering using you. We’re going to be talking about referrals and the power of referrals. You’re going to want to tune in to the Hot Topic segment. We break that on into two shows now.
Let’s say thank you to IndustrySyndicate.com for them publishing our show. Check out their website for all the podcasts that are available on that site. Also, a special thank you to the MBA or the Mortgage Bankers Association of America for their sponsorship and our partnership with them. Check out the Mortgage Action Alliance. Also, sign up for Independent Mortgage Bankers Association Conference. Unfortunately, I cannot be there. My wife has surgery. I want to be there when she comes out from under the anesthesia to tend to her as best I can. I won’t be there but you should be. Sign up for it.
Also, Finastra’s Fusion Mortgagebot Solution to experience the power of a fully integrated approach to mortgage lending. It simplifies the borrower experience and streamlines the process for employees. I had a great interview with Karen Jenkins on October 4th, 2021. Go back to that. She has a good roadmap. They open up and talk about their roadmap for what they’re developing and their approach to development. It is an interesting interview. I encourage you to go back to that.
Also, Lenders One and The Mortgage Collaborative. Both of these are co-ops that bring both the mortgage originator and the vendors together. That’s valuable but probably one of the most valuable things is how they get the lenders talking. It does not erase that of the MBA. You should be a member there. These are two coops where more and more of our clients are members of them. They get so much more because it’s up close and more intimate. They’re getting a chance to speak to their peers of the same size. They’re looking at what are the solutions that are working for them. Check out both Lenders One and The Mortgage Collaborative.
I want to say thank you to Josh Friend at Insellerate, who does a great job with his technology helping connect borrowers. Also, The Knowledge Coop connects you as a lender to the borrowers in a very effective way. Check it. Go under our sponsorship page. Listen to what Josh Friend has recorded there and also, any of his past shows. The last one we had him on was on June 21st, 2021. Josh was in here talking about some great information.
Our shows are to be informational and you’ll find them to be so. We’re working with Ken Perry of the Knowledge Coop to get him on. He is a great provider of a learning management system. I think you’ll find it very exciting. Also, he’s got a new release coming up and I heard about it. I was on a conference call with him. He’s got some exciting stuff that’s coming up. It’s going to be the industry standard. I am fairly convinced.
Check out The Knowledge Coop, as well as, Mobility MMI and Modex. These two sponsors do a great job of connecting you with loan originator candidates in helping you recruit them. Also, Snapdocs. You got to check out their eVault solution. It makes it so simple to get started in eNotes and it’s so easy to help you transact across multiple partners that are using the system. Check it out at Snapdocs.com. Also, read the interview we did with Michelle on September 13th, 2021.
Also, we’ve got one of our newer sponsors, Lender Toolkit. we had Brent Emler on November 29th. We also have SuccessKit, who is on with us in the Hot Topic segment with Julian Lumpkin. Finally, I want to say a special thank you to our regulars, Jack Nunnery, Rob, Les, Alice, Allen, and Matt. Thank you for your contributions each and every week.
Welcome to the Hot Topic segment. We’ve got joining us, Julian Lumpkin. He is the founder and CEO of SuccessKit. I am proud to have him as a sponsor. He’s going to give us some insights on how you can increase and close more business whether you’re out there talking to consumers or other vendors, whether you’re B2B or B2C. He’s got some great information on how to close more deals and shorten your sales cycle. Julian Lumpkin, it’s good to have you, friend. I appreciate you so much.
David, it’s great to be here.
I appreciate you, your sponsorship, and your partnership. I am looking forward to talking to you about that. This is a great topic. Think about this. You’re competing in the marketplace. Your competitor has all these valued testimonials and you’re out there with your marketing material. Your marketing material may be trumping and even better than your competition, but in a game of who is the consumer going to go with, what is going to drive it? Testimonials trump it. We’re going to get in and discuss that very specifically. Before we get into that, Julian, let our audience get to know you briefly.
My name is Julian Lumpkin. I’m the Founder of SuccessKit. We have been creating case studies, which is a written version of a testimonial and video testimonials for our clients for several years. I’m excited to talk with you about how we’ve helped our clients attract more leads and close more business by leveraging their most important asset. That asset is their own happy customers.
I started working with Julian. He reached out to me 6 or 9 months ago or maybe a year ago. I was so impressed with how he runs his business just beyond what he does. Before we signed up, I thought, “Is this another vendor trying to bang on my door to get some money out of my wallet?” I saw the way he followed up. Folks, you’re going to want to get to know Julian because of how he runs his business. His business acumen is really good. Kudos to you on that. Let’s get into the topic. Why are testimonials more important now than they have been previously? Why do they matter so much?
I think they’re more important now than ever. Testimonials have always been important for pretty obvious reasons. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes for a second. You’re not an expert on mortgages. You’re not looking at the inflation rate or the Fed’s interest rates or any of the things you guys talked about in this program. You’re thinking about yourself as a buyer. When you’re thinking about yourself, it’s very difficult for a vendor, whether it’s a mortgage provider or someone else to change your mind or make you see things.
What does connect with someone who’s thinking about their own problems and their own mortgage is hearing from someone just like them. That’s what makes video testimonials so powerful. Now, I think they’re even more powerful because consumers, whether they are individuals or businesses, are accustomed to getting real information themselves. They don’t want to hear you as the vendor explain why you’re the best or what works. They want to figure it out for themselves or hear it from other people. That’s what people expect now. Video testimonials are your opportunity as a mortgage provider to control that and make sure they’re seeing real information from people you’ve already worked with that’s going to connect with them.
One of the things you talked about was case studies. Talk a little bit about it and how a case study is similar to a testimonial, but there is some variance.
We look at case studies as the written versions. A case study would be maybe 1 page or 2 pages. They can be 3 or 4 pages telling the story of how someone worked with you in writing. The video testimonial is a video version of that person talking about it. They usually run for 1 to 2 minutes, but they can be 3 or 4 minutes. As far as the content itself, the difference is about detail.
What I mean by that is written case studies will often tell a personal story, but they also have room via the text to talk about some of the details of why it was a successful relationship. What happened? Video testimonials may touch on that, but they’re more about social proof. They’re more about your customer being able to look at someone and see that they’re a real person just like that.
Allen, I want you to get on the conversation about the importance of a testimonial, especially when it comes to the technology side of that. I think it’s important across all business models. Get in here with some of your questions that you might have or statements about the importance of testimonials and case studies.
Ultimately, what makes a testimonial good would be my first question, but just real quick because what you said, David, brings home. It’s that in technology, you need to be able to prove to folks that you can do what you’re selling and you can deliver. You’re not selling vaporware and having testimonials is a great way to do that. A lot of people sometimes think testimonials are fully baked, so you’ve got to have more than one. It is what I’m getting at. I’m not the expert on this so I’ll turn it back over to you, guys. I love to understand what makes a good testimonial.
I’ll try to give a quick simple answer to that. What makes a good testimonial is authentic statements from your client about things that your prospects care about. That means you don’t need to over-engineer your video testimonials. You don’t need to coach your client on the perfect or the best thing to say because the best video testimonials are authentic. You may guide them to make sure they’re talking about things that are important to your prospects, but the very best testimonials come about when you let the client share their story.What makes a good testimonial is authentic statements from your client about things that your prospects care about. Click To Tweet
I’ll give you an example of why I always start with this as the most important aspect. I have clients that will have us do a testimonial for them. When they’re looking at the way that their client speaks about things, they may pause and say, “I can describe things even more precisely than what my client did. I’ve got my terminology to describe things.” What they find when they use their testimonials is that doesn’t matter.
What matters is your clients speak authentically in their own words. Let’s think about your prospects. They’re not thinking like you. They don’t care about the interest rates, the Feds rates, the terminology, and the technical details. They care about simple things. For the best testimonials, let your clients talk about what matters to them because that’s what matters to the people who are thinking about working with you.
Julian, one of the things I want to put in here and talk about sometimes is how long does it take? I’ve worked on testimonials. I’ve had the best intentions of doing them. There’s something about handing that over to someone to do, and I can’t stress that enough. You got to get into the hands of a professional like you that does it. You do such a good job of following up and working with me. At least, you have with me as a client.
I appreciate that. First of all, let’s tell your audience this. We’re happy to help and getting professionally done testimonials are great. One of the cool things about testimonials is that anyone can do them. It’s just going to take a little work. David, you bring up the part of the project that folks usually forget about when they say, “Let’s go create testimonials,” and that is project management.
When people try to make testimonials on themselves, they may find a video editor who can help them do that. They may even have someone internally who can set it up. Where we see our clients failing is in project management. It’s all the little details of setting it up for the client, telling them what they need to prepare, getting the B-roll, and getting permission in advance. All of these little things are why we see our clients say, “I know these are important. We can do them, but they’re not getting done.” It’s about finding a good process yourself or finding someone like us who can manage that for you.
I’m so glad you found us and we have found a great relationship with you. Jack, it sounds like he was talking about the devil is in the details about that and how to create testimonies. Jack, over to you.
Julian, the audience of this show is distributed nationally. Can you help them build these testimonials on a remote basis?
Let’s talk about that. First of all, the direct answer to your question is yes. If you’ve seen our example video testimonials, including the one we did for David, they were recorded remotely. We use technology that allows us to see what the person is recording while they’re recording it. They can do so on their iPhones. iPhones have amazing cameras these days. What we do to shoot them remotely is use a program where they’re logging on to their iPhones. We’re coaching them while watching the video to make sure it comes up correctly.
We have a whole process for doing them remotely. What I always tell my clients before they sign up with us is, before you record a video remotely, consider if you may have the opportunity with them in person. Shooting video in person is always or should always be a little bit better than remotely, but they can certainly get done remotely. What we’re talking about here is the level of production quality that they’re ultimately going to see.
One of the things that’s interesting, and this is a trend that’s been going on for a couple of years that is mostly brought on by the pandemic, is that viewers are much more accepting of informal video shoots. They don’t care as much about the polish anymore. They don’t care if you’ve had a super fancy camera and came to their office. They’re used to seeing people’s faces on Zoom talking. A lot of my clients are aiming for more informal shoots so you get the feeling of it’s just a person talking. You can do them in person or remotely. It depends on how much you want to prioritize production quality.
The production quality and the time it takes are inordinate. How do you use testimonials in marketing? Are there dos and don’ts that you recommend there?
Testimonials are a great lead magnet. The most important thing that you can do once you have a video testimonial is to properly target them within your campaign. When people ask me what makes a good testimonial or case study, one of the other answers I could give is not how well it’s written or how well it’s recorded but how relevant is it to the viewer.
The most important thing that you can do in your marketing is to make sure you’re not just creating one video testimonial and then putting it into all of your marketing channels. Instead, you’re targeting it to the audience who’s going to be viewing it. Testimonials work because viewers can put themselves in the shoes of their clients. The closer you can make that match, whether it’s geographically, whether it’s about the concern that the person had, anything that you can do to make it relevant to the people you’re marketing to is going to make that more about them.
I can’t stress that enough. Is there some content that can be more timeless? In other words, it has a longer shelf life to be used out there? Are there any things that you say like if there are certain trends going on now so that it doesn’t have to be redone? We were talking about the financial markets and what’s going on now won’t be relevant possibly later this week. What are some tips on the relevancy of market swings?
It’s a great question and there’s not one canned answer for all companies here because it is situational. Going back to your example of the rates may have changed, that may or may not affect a testimonial. If your goal is to create a testimonial that’s evergreen, and I have clients that specifically tell us, “We want this to be evergreen,” as you ask your questions and guide the subject in talking, you’re going to want to not ask them about the super specific things that are relevant right now and are likely to change. The drawback is you’re going to get a little bit fewer specifics. There’s a balance you have to draw here and it’s going to be dependent on your individual situation and the subject matter at hand.
One of our audience said, “I think I know what he means by evergreen, but just in case I’m missing something, have him expound on what you mean by evergreen?”
I hope I used that term correctly. It’s not something I say often. I don’t know where it came from. What I meant when I said evergreen is content that you create once and that you can use for years to come. It doesn’t need to be significantly updated or changed. For example, if you do a blog article about the interest rates now, that’s not an evergreen content. A good testimonial that doesn’t cover any specifics like that is going to be valuable for years to come.
Let’s talk about using testimonials in your marketing. It seems like you just dump it in there. Do you put it in as a segment or snippets to draw people in? Give us some marketing tips and tricks that you’ve found that work better when using testimonials.
The answer is yes to everything. Whether it’s on your website, in a sales email, or a marketing campaign, there is no part of marketing that doesn’t have room for customer proof.There is no part of marketing that doesn't have room for customer proof. Click To Tweet
Are there some guidelines you can say like, “If it’s a video testimony that goes for three minutes, pull out this great sound bite that draws them into it?”
That’s exactly what our clients do. I’ll give you an example of what I mean by that. Different video types are going to be effective on different channels. The standard two-minute video testimonial that we’ve been talking about is perfect for your website. On your website, you want to have your most formal content. You have a little more room, but you don’t need only ten-second clips. That’s where you want your full formal video testimonials.
What my clients also do, and we can do this for them as a service, is once you create a video testimonial of 2 to 3 minutes, you can repurpose that and use it across all different channels. I’ll give you an example. Many of my clients are focused on LinkedIn. While this can change for a while, one of the best ways to get attention on LinkedIn was a 20-second video clip.
What you do is take your video testimonial. You save all of the files for creating it, and then when you have a LinkedIn campaign, you pull out the most important piece from that testimonial and put it into a short segment like 20 seconds. As you said, David, there are different lengths for different situations. With social media, it’s super short. It’s 15 to 20-second clips. On your website, 2 to 3 minutes. If you have a webinar or a full presentation, that might be an opportunity to do a long-form interview with a client in the 10 to 15-minute range.
I always look at what to use, when to use it, and all that. Let’s talk about when you’re using testimonials in sales versus marketing. How does that differ?
This is one of my favorite questions because my background before I started SuccessKit was in sales. I was a sales manager at a technology company. What I saw is that the very best sales reps, whether it’s testimonials, case studies, or just talking about customers, they used examples of customer success throughout the sales process. Everyone has been in a situation where a vendor misuses a testimonial or a reference or a case study. They’re basically trying to make the case study do its job for them, or the testimonials do their job for them.
The key to using case studies and testimonials and sales, just like in marketing, is to target effectively. When you’re in the sales process, you can target even more effectively than just, “This person lives in Michigan. Let me show them a video testimonial from Michigan.” When you’re in a sales process, you’re learning what your prospect cares about. Not what you think they should care about, not what you’re telling them, not what your product does, and not what your mortgage offers them, but what they care about.The key to using case studies and testimonials and sales, just like in marketing, is to target effectively. Click To Tweet
What the best sales reps do is learn what their prospect cares about, what makes them tick, and what makes this decision matter to them. They then show them video testimonials of people who care or achieve results on that same thing. Summarizing my answer, just like marketing is about targeting, a good sales rep can take that targeting to the next level and use customer proof throughout their entire sales process.
It goes almost to an emotional appeal in what you’re doing. The logic that goes into the case study is more logical, but in the video testimony, there’s got to be an emotional component. I think it’ll store things nicely there. It’s exciting. There’s so much I could go on about this and we’ve run out of time. I encourage people to reach out to you. What’s the most effective way for people to call and connect?
I am pretty easy to find. You can find us right on our website and talk with me directly. That is SuccessKit.io. You can also Google Julian Lumpkin and my LinkedIn profile will come up. I take inbound messages. Feel free to ask me any questions or you can shoot me an email at [email protected]. If you have questions, we’re happy to answer them. If you need help with your testimonials or case studies, we’re happy to do that as well.
Folks, this is my testimony of Julian. I got to tell you how pleased I am with the level of follow-up. Even after I hired him, I was still so overwhelmed with busyness and things that are distracting that I was not responding to him. He did the most respectful job of pinging me on a regular basis, “Dave, just reminding you we’re here whenever you’re ready and get it going.” It was the most professional, thorough follow-up on working with us. I got to tell you, “You won me over with how well you run your business. It doesn’t matter what your business is, you run it well, Julian. Kudos to you. A true professional, and it’s fun to see the benefits of what you do. It’s got to be rewarding.
Thanks for the kind words, David. Thanks for having me here. I appreciate working with you as well.
I’m looking forward to it very much. Our special guest has been Julian Lumpkin, the Founder and CEO of SuccessKit. Please reach out to him, connect with him or have a discovery call. You say, “I’m a loan officer. I’m a single individual, or I’m a sole proprietor. I can’t afford it.” His prices are so affordable so check it out. I’m sure those prices will be going up. John, that’s not an announcement that they’re going up. At some point in time, I’m sure they will. It’s just to be so effective for you, whether you’re a loan officer working inside of a company. You can invest the money. It’s very affordable.
I appreciate you, Julian, for being here. Next episode, we’ve got Whitney Nelson of Brilliant People joining us. We’re going to be talking more about personality profiles. How do we work effectively within a company? How do we interact with people more effectively? I just met Whitney Nelson. We share a passion for culture within companies. I’m excited to share that interview with you next episode.
A special thank you to our sponsors, Finastra, Lenders One, Insellerate, Mobility MMI, Modex, the MBA, Knowledge Coop, The Mortgage Collaborative, Snapdocs, SuccessKit, and Lenders Toolkit. I am grateful to have all of these as sponsors. We appreciate you being here. I look forward to having you back here in the next episode. Have a great week everyone. Thank you.
- Mortgage Bankers Association of America
- Mortgage Action Alliance
- Independent Mortgage Bankers Association Conference
- Karen Jenkins
- Lenders One
- The Mortgage Collaborative
- The Knowledge Coop
- Mobility MMI
- Lender Toolkit
- Brent Emler – previous episode
- Julian Lumpkin – LinkedIn
- [email protected]
- Brilliant People
- Finastra’s Fusion Mortgagebot Solution
About Julian Lumpkin
Julian is the Founder of SuccessKit, a boutique agency focused on creating Case Studies and video testimonials. He handles sales and oversees every Case Study they produce. He ensures each Case Study tells the most powerful story possible, and the process is super easy for his clients and their partners. Julian has focused his career on B2B sales and sales management, specifically bringing new technologies to market. After years as an elite sales rep, he began leading teams, specifically focused on coaching sales reps on how to be direct, credible, and respected throughout the sales process. Julian conceived of and designed SuccessKit when running an 18 person sales team at Axial, a b2b startup, as a way to help sales reps have better conversations by utilizing customer success examples and other content more effectively.
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