Testimonials are invaluable for getting new business. It shows potential customers that other business owners, just like them, are satisfied with your work. Plus if you date your testimonials it proves longevity and that you have a consistently good track record.
Benefits of getting testimonials:
- You might find a great tagline – a local branding expert received a testimonial from a client who dubbed him the “brand whisperer”. The tag stuck and now his is known as The Brand Whisperer.
- Helps build credibility – Social proof makes a difference: if you have a choice of two businesses, with no clear differentiator, and the first one has several glowing recommendations and the second one has none, chances are you will pick the first business.
- It’s good for your customers too – Don’t forget to remind your customers that giving a testimonial can help them increase their own visibility because you will post their testimonial on your website with a backlink to their site.
Rules for asking:
- Timing. Ask for endorsements during the first 30-60 days of you working together, or as soon as the project is complete.
- Keep it short. Remind them the testimonial doesn’t need to be very long; one to two paragraphs are sufficient.
- Disclosure. Be sure to tell your customers you plan to use the testimonial on your website or other promotional material.
What to ask for:
It’s okay to give your customer-specific guidance, in fact, it makes the task of writing the testimonial easier. Help them out by asking your customer to:
- Talk about the quality of your work
- State how much they enjoy working with you
- If you do a variety of things, ask them to describe the benefits of a particular offering
- Talk about what they like best about your product/service
- Describe why they do business with you instead of your competitors
If your customer is comfortable using internet tools, ask them to post your testimonial on either your LinkedIn page or your Google places page (be sure to give them the link); from there you can copy and paste it onto your website. If they are less techy then ask for a testimonial written on their letterhead.
Get into the habit of asking for testimonials; if you are uncomfortable doing this, practice asking for a recommendation in the mirror. If you want to ask via email write your request out and have a friend proof it for tone and style.
Remember the best way to get a testimonial is to give a testimonial! Be sure to check out my post on How to write a testimonial.