Testimonials — done right — can be incredibly useful when trying to get new work. They open the door to new clients, and help to take take pressure off those who fear sounding like a braggart in the horn-tooting process. Instead, you let your happy clients do the talking for your product or service.
Features of a Good Testimonial
What makes a great testimonial? They give details, cut out the sugar and help answer prospects’ objections.
- Specific. Good testimonials don’t stop at “They did a great job” or “The product made a difference in my life.” They explain why the service did a good job or how the product made a difference.
- Believable. Sugary and fake-sounding testimonials tend to lead to mistrust. To make a testimonial sound as credible as possible, include details like full name, business name, web address of the business and a photo. Video testimonials add more credibility. After all, would you give a fake video testimonial?
- Answers common concerns. When prospects consider your product or service, what barriers stand in the way of their buying from you? Testimonial that erase potential objections are incredibly useful.
How to Collect High Quality Testimonials
People don’t see requests for a testimonial as awkward as asking your clients for referrals or leads. So go ahead and ask your past and present clients for a testimonial with these tips in mind.
- Listen. A customer may make a comment during a project or at the end. If the comment sounds like a believable testimonial, ask the customer if you can use the quote, along with permission to post the customer’s name and information.
- Check in. Call or email clients to see how you’re doing in serving them. Ask if they’re happy and how you can do better. Not only does this show you care about customer service, the response could turn out to be a great testimonial, too.
- Ask specific questions. Rather than requesting a testimonial and leaving the rest up to the customer to write, pose a question to customers to compel them to give specific and valuable responses. Here are some examples:
“What has my services helped you achieve with the product or service we provided?”
“What results have you seen come from working with us?”
“How did you feel after receiving our product or service?”
“What objections did you have before working with us? What reassured you?”
“I am looking for success stories from customers like you. If you have a success story to share, please summarize it or give testimonial.”
What to Do with Testimonials
Okay, you’ve collected some valuable and believable testimonials. What’s next?
- Post them on your web site. Placement matters, as this Marketing Experiments study shows.
- Ask clients to put them in LinkedIn under Recommendations.
- Publish them on your marketing materials.
- Upload video testimonials to services like YouTube.
- Add them to your social network profiles.
- Write a success story blog entry that explains a problem and how you solved it. Use the clients’ quotes in the story.
Effective testimonials cost you nothing except the time to collect, which is more than paid off by the credibility you gain in return.
How do you collect and publish valuable testimonials?
Photo credit: Helmut Gevert