At Flying Solo LIVE! I was on a panel where we discussed the importance of ‘Making an impression’. At the end of the session, many of the questions related to client testimonials, so I figured the topic was worthy of an article.
Why are client testimonials important?
Testimonials create an enormous amount of trust because they provide proof to prospective clients that using your products and services will lead to a positive outcome. In a nutshell, they turn readers into customers.
Just starting out and don’t have any testimonials?
No problem, simply offer some discounted products and/or services to your target clients with the expressed purpose of obtaining feedback. The return on this investment will be substantial.
Why you must include adequate information about the testimonial-giver
We’ve all read client testimonials that look fabricated, and sadly, rather than creating trust, the testimonial creates distrust. To showcase authenticity include as much information about the testimonial-giver as possible, such as: full name, location, their age (if appropriate), and a website if they have one. Some testimonial-givers are also happy to supply their phone number and/or email address.
Who are the best people to write your testimonials?
Put simply, they are the people from your target market. For example, if you are selling a product to teenage boys, then the most effective and powerful client testimonials will come from other teenage boys rather than middle-aged men, mothers or teenage girls.
How to get client testimonials
No matter how much your client loves doing business with you, writing a testimonial can be a hassle. To make the process as easy as possible, here are some tips:
- Pursue a testimonial during the immediate post-sale glow, rather than a week or month down the track.
- If a client has emailed positive comments to you, reply back and ask if you can use their exact wording for a testimonial. This requires no work for you or the customer.
- If a client lavishes praise upon you in person, ask them if you can document their comments for a client testimonial. In fact, if time permits, write the testimonial in their presence so they can review it immediately. Again, very little hassle for either party.
- Write the testimonial yourself! Check out this article on what to do and how to do it.
- If you ask the client to write a testimonial, politely provide a deadline by saying something like, ‘Can I please have it by next Thursday because I’d like to use it for a promotion I have planned.’ Without a deadline, you might never receive that priceless testimonial.
- If the customer asks for guidance on what to write, encourage them to write about the most important message/s that you want to get across to prospective clients. For example, if you’re a plumber you could ask the person to include details about how you: arrived on time, solved the problem quickly, showed courtesy and professionalism, and left the place tidy.
Want more articles like this? Check out the business relationships section.
Client testimonials are huge trust-builders that can make or break a sale, so include them in all your marketing material.
Do you think client testimonials are important or irrelevant? Has a client given you a testimonial that you’re proud of? If so, share it here.