One of the many activities online home business owners are involved in is obtaining software tools or services to assist them with running their business. There are usually many different options to choose from and choices are not always easy. Some of the solution’s offered work but most do not! It’s important to make the right choice.

I encountered this scenario recently when choosing an Auto-Responder service. I had done my research and thought I had made a good choice. But then doubt sneaked in about whether I was picking the best solution. Although I felt it was a good choice, it was going to be a little more difficult to integrate this service into one of my web sites. A solution from a different software vendor would integrate easier, but I was uncomfortable with their ability to provide the service I was looking for.

Since I was now unsure with my decision and looking at another solution for ease of integration, I spent some time on this vendor’s site looking into the details of their product. I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to skip over testimonials and references from other companies that are included in website copy. I quite often doubt whether they are real and usually they are difficult to verify.

This time however, I did not skip the references listed by the vendor. I picked the first one from their list of successful websites their service had been integrated with. As is common, there was no link to the website, but finding the website proved pretty easy using a well known search engine. Once found, I began looking for the email signup section of their site to see how it was integrated and how it fit in with the site. Again, this was easy to find.

To my surprise when I tried the email signup (I didn’t enter an email address so as to force the service to display a message), the software service name displayed was not the one that had the testimonial, but the one I had initially decided on. This confirmed my original decision and removed any doubts from my mind.

This all seems like common sense, and it is. However, many times online home business owners, including myself, get caught up in marketing hype and forget to check the facts.

How do we check the facts?

If you’re a software or service vendor, make sure your web site testimonials are accurate and up to date. Nothing kills a potential sale quicker than a false reference.

Running an online home business can be fun and rewarding. In many ways it is the same as running an offline business. Making choices is not always easy. But one thing is clear, if a vendor offers references – check them out!

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