We get that asking for testimonials can feel tough.
But when a new prospect finds you, testimonials are SO powerful for building credibility and trust, it’s worth it.
We’re currently collecting testimonials from our clients – so we thought we’d share some ideas with you, about what’s working well for us!
1. The best time to ask for a testimonial is when a client loves the work you’ve done
Don’t put it off. If you’ve delivered a product or service, and your client is telling you they are happy – suck it up & ask for a testimonial, there and then.
Honestly – it makes asking SO much easier. We’ve gathered several testimonials this way and when we’ve asked in that moment, not a single person has declined. In fact, they’ve been more than happy to help.
And of course, you can go out to your clients at any time & ask for their help.
If you’re looking for a testimonial to demonstrate a key benefit of your business – like your speed of delivery, or your wide choice of products – then work out which 2 or 3 clients you’ve done this well for. Get in touch & ask them for a quick favour, and whether they’d be happy to put their name to a short testimonial you’ve written (more below!).
2. Make it easy for your client. They are busy!
Now – this is slightly controversial.
YOU can write the testimonial & send it to your client, to ask if they’re happy to put their name to it.
Do not make up testimonials that are not true. People can smell a fake a mile off and that’s an instant credibility-killer.
BUT by us doing the work – and actually producing the testimonial – it takes the time & energy away from asking our clients to do it.
And you know what your marketing message is, that you want the testimonial to prove. You know which benefit of your business you want the testimonial to sell – like your speed of service, or your wide product range. Your client does not know this.
As long as your testimonial is REAL, and accurately reflects your client’s experience of working with you, then most people are happy to help. Especially if you’ve done a really good job for them.
3. Use testimonials to answer objections. Why wouldn’t someone buy from you?
Some of the most powerful testimonials overcome the objections that clients & customers have to buying your product or service.
The starting point is to truly, deeply understand what these objections are.
Why wouldn’t they believe you? Why wouldn’t they buy your product or service?
- They don’t think they need it – they’re fine as they are
- It sounds like too much hassle
- There’s hidden charges you’re not mentioning
- It’ll take too much time
- They don’t believe it’s possible – or that it will work effectively
- They don’t want to lose control or hand control over to you
- You can’t really deliver on the service you’re promising
- They don’t really understand what you’re offering
- It’s too expensive – they don’t want to spend that much
The list goes on!
Let’s take an example – they think it’ll take too much time.
So a useful testimonial might be:
“I was worried at first, about how much time it would take to set up – but ABC Company made the whole process so quick & easy! All of the team were very professional and were there to help with everything we needed. Since moving to them, we’ve saved 24% on what we were spending before. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them!”
Another example – they think you sound too expensive.
Here, your testimonial can help to prove the value in your product or service:
“I looked at several options, before choosing ABC Company – and I’m SO glad I did! They’ve gone above & beyond in every way, to make sure I was happy & that everything was working perfectly. And the quality was so much better than anything else I’d considered! I’d highly recommend them to anyone looking for [your product or service]”
You get the idea!
But using testimonials in this way is incredibly powerful, to help overcome the barriers to the sale & move people forwards through your sales process.
4. Leverage your testimonials – and not just on your website
Once you’ve started to build a bank of testimonials – that address specific client objections & key marketing messages – you can then leverage them throughout your business.
Getting them on your website is a good place to start! Not on a ‘testimonials’ page – but sprinkled thoughout your website, on all pages, to back up your key messages.
And they’re also then powerful to use:
- In your sales letters
- In your email marketing
- On your social media pages
- As features in your newsletter
- On your company van
- On leaflets & flyers
- On marketing postcards
- On your squeeze pages & funnels
- Printed & framed on the walls in your business
- Shared with your team, to help inspire & motivate them
So once you’ve put the time & effort in once, to collect the testimonial, you can then leverage it again & again.
5. Maximise your testimonials with the right formatting
If you’ve put the effort into collecting your testimonials, then it makes sense to make sure they’re as clear as possible, to get your key message across.
First off, your testimonials MUST be attributed properly. They must have your client’s (real) full name; city; and company name, position & web address (if relevant). Ideally, you want to include a photograph of your client, too.
This sounds extreme.
But “Mrs S” next to your testimonial – or worst, initials – looks fake (even if it’s not!).
The whole point of social proof is to demonstrate that what you’re saying is true. So you’ve got to prove that your testimonial is from a real person, who’s genuinely experienced your service or product.
Bear in mind that most people will skim read your testimonial. Even if it’s only a few sentences. So it’s worth thinking about how to draw attention to the crucial points.
A shorter 6-7 word summary headline is helpful – “They’ve gone above & beyond!”, for example.
Use speech marks to make it super clear that this is what someone has said. Lay it out with bold text, colours & fonts, to draw attention to your key marketing message.
Do whatever you can to draw attention to your testimonials & highlight your key messages.
And the process never stops! You can never have too many testimonials, and they can always get stronger & stronger.
It’s about harnessing their power, to prove that YOU are the best choice for your prospects.
Until next time
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