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Summary:

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 […]

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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

  1. Thanks for this insightful way to acquire and promote testimonials. Testimonials are great vehicles to add credibilty to your own brand while also providing visibility for your customers.

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  2. JoAnn Stak Bregnard Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Great piece … we publish testimonials and photos in our monthly customer newsletter and get a lot of mileage out of them. Thanks!

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  3. [...] a client will give you feedback on the great job you did. Ask if you can publish that as a testimonial. If not, ask for a testimonial you can [...]

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  4. [...] Read more good advice at How to Get Good Testimonials. [...]

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  5. [...] How to Get Good Testimonials from WebWorkerDaily [...]

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  6. Thanks for the clear and concise points about how to broach the subject of testimonials. With luck, i’ll get some good responses. Cheers

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  7. You are completely right about the power of testimonials ! And I use a tool that might be interesting to all you readers !

    Our company (BBC) appealed to Our Clients (www.our-clients.com). Our-clients is an online tool that makes it easy to collect testimonials from your clients and keep them up-to-date.

    The testimonials are completely trustworthy thanks to the fact that not only you but also your clients have control on what is published. And testimonials have to be updated or confirmed every 12 months. So you end up with a list of testimonials that are real and recent. Only those will convince your prospects

    Cheers,
    Kevin

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