You know the power of third party credibility. It’s the word-of-mouth marketing that keeps talking about your incredible value and brings you new customers on a regular basis. The engine that runs that marketing machine is testimonials. You can call it referrals or even goodwill, the reality is it is clients talking about how great your service or product is to other prospective clients. Now, it’s awesome when you’ve got this engine humming along, but the reality is you most often need to kick start the process. Better yet, when you put into place a regular process for getting testimonials, you’ll have a continual pipeline of fresh rave reviews.Testimonial Power
3 Simple Ways to Request Great Testimonials
Getting testimonials can feel kind of uncomfortable. You did an outstanding job and your customer has commented but you’ve got to capture their comments in written form and get their permission to use that. There are three simple ways to make that happen:
- When you use a letter of agreement, simply include a clause that states that they’ll be requested to provide a letter of recommendation regarding your services upon satisfactory (better yet, exemplary) performance.
- When you hear them compliment your service or product, mention to them how much you appreciate that and would love to get their review in written format.
- Be prepared with an outside resource to collect your testimonials as part of every project’s or contract’s follow up. It can be a lot easier to have a third party do this for you, often customers will share far more with a third party than they might with you.
4 Step Formula to Getting Great Testimonials
The real key to outrageous testimonials is a four step formula:
- What problem did your client face when they hired you?
- What specific solution did you provide (product or service included)?
- What was their experience in working with you?
- What would they say to someone else considering hiring you?
When you aren’t specific with your customer, you’ll get a very generic testimonial like “Joe was great to work with, I recommend him.” There is no real impact in that statement as it doesn’t cover the challenge they faced when they met Joe, what Joe’s specific solution was, what their experience working with Joe was, and why they would recommend Joe. The more specific the better, if they can include metrics like “our sales increased 50% in just 90 days after working with Susan” so much the better.
Shortcut to a Great Testimonial
To shortcut your testimonial process consider using automated testimonial software. Better yet, go with the human touch and explore providers who can do this for you. Often you can use your marketing specialist, provide them with a bit of background and the formula here and have them make appointments for 10 minute conversations with key clients, eliciting rave reviews.
It works best if you collect your testimonials either right before the close of a project or contract, or shortly following. Get your testimonial process into place so you don’t find yourself going back months later when memory can miss some specific details of your outrageous service. My favorite resource for collecting testimonials is my colleague and marketing expert Tricia Molloy. She not only has the formula down, but gets incredible description and sound bites from my clients that I use on my website, in marketing copy, and even in powerpoint and on sales pages. Check her out and explore your other options for testimonials to take your business to the top.