What others say about your business is far more important than what YOU say about your business.
Last week, I showed you how to create flyers and brochures that convert prospects into customers. In that article, I suggested you include testimonials.
But not all testimonials are created equal.
What’s worse is that most solo entrepreneurs fail to use good testimonials in their business.
Take for example the following testimonial:
“I’m so glad I hired Jim as a personal trainer. He really cares about my weight loss goals.” – Linda
It’s not terrible, right?
But it’s not good either.
This testimonial would be unlikely to tip the scale of any potential buyer. But, that’s exactly what good testimonials are meant to do. Good testimonials should address concerns, doubts, and reasons why a potential buyer might not buy. Good testimonials should tip the buying scale in your favor. Really good testimonials should sell your products and services for you.
But, let’s be honest. You’re not asking for testimonials, are you?
Let’s change that.
How to Ask For and Get Powerful Testimonials
Most customers don’t readily dole out rave reviews for businesses they love. Some do, but most don’t unless they are asked to. This means you need to ask. It also means you need to make giving you a testimonial extraordinarily easy to do.
You also want to get testimonials immediately. You want the customer’s experience to be fresh in their mind and emotions, so ask for a testimonial right after they purchase and use your product or service.
Here are two ways to do that:
The Survey Method.
The survey method of testimonial gathering requires that you use a tool like Survey Monkey or Google Forms to easily ask specific questions about your customer’s experience. The questions you ask need to be “objection crushing” questions. These are questions that will provide you with the exact feedback you need to craft testimonials that sell your products and services for you.
Ask questions that are specific to your business and industry, but here are a few sample questions to get your gears turning:
- How has our product or service helped or changed your business/life/health/experience?
- What do you like best about [name your product or service here]?
- What reservations did you have about buying [name your product or service here]?
- Would you tell your friends and family about [name your product or service here]? Why or why not?
- How do you think we could make [name your product or service here] better?
The Direct Request Method.
The direct request method works just like it sounds. Pick up the phone, or email your customer and ask them to give you verbal feedback you can use publicly, leave you an online review, or provide you a written testimonial.
When using this method, I prefer to send my customers a brief personal e-mail, because it gives me the opportunity to suggest the type of feedback I’m looking for. Below I’ve included a sample e-mail that you can modify to use in your business.
I have a favor to ask of you.
I’m in the process of putting together a collection of comments about my services, from satisfied clients for my marketing materials.
If you will grant me express permission, by replying to this e-mail, to quote from your comments and use them in my marketing materials, I’d really appreciate getting your opinion on your experience in working with me as your health coach?
You can share whatever you like.
And, if you’re not sure here are a few things you could mention:
-Why you decided to select me as your health coach
-What major concern you had that I helped you resolve
-What you liked most about working with me
-A specific situation where you were very glad to have my support
-Why you would recommend me to your friends and family
I really look forward to hearing your thoughts, and I also welcome any suggestions or criticisms, too.
Thank you in advance for your time.
Very Truly Yours,
P.S. If I can include your picture with your feedback, would you send one I can use publicly? Thank you!
A Few More Tips for Publishing Testimonials That Sell
Once you have your testimonials, you’ll want to leverage the positive feedback in your marketing materials. People tend to be skeptical of testimonials if they don’t look and sound believable, so to increase their credibility always use the first name, last initial, and city of your customer.
You should also try to include a photo if your customer will provide one. And, don’t forget to always get express written permission to publish a client’s testimonial and image. Never violate your customer’s privacy or trust by publishing their words or pictures without their fully informed consent.
Good testimonials can eliminate virtually all resistance to selling in your business, but they don’t create themselves. Be proactive. Be brave. If you give your clients your best, and do excellent work, ask for the testimonial and leverage it. You’re crazy not to!