How To Obtain Great Testimonials
In this second article I’m going to explain the easiest ways for you to obtain great testimonials for your business, and then how to use them effectively.
Firstly, Consider This Scenario…
The sale went great for you. It’s three months later and your client is absolutely thrilled with his new purchase. The person who bought from you comes up and says –
“Your product is fabulous … it has saved us at least £1,500 a month since we’ve had it . . . at this rate we’ll save a minimum of £18,000 this year thanks to you.”
So you take your pat on the back and jot down a note to call them for hopefully some repeat business sometime down the road, right?
You’ve spent a lot of time and a lot of money nurturing and advising and helping and trying to land this client. They once were very worried about whether or not to even buy your product or service.
Now you’ve got to help other prospects (who are in exactly the same situation as your happy customer once was) understand there is no risk in doing business with you.
So you ask for the testimonial. How though, do you do it?
Most business people find asking for and getting worth while testimonials a slightly embarrassing or uncomfortable task. They hate confronting people and asking for their help.
But you need to realise that if you’ve done a good job, you should have no hesitation in asking for a testimonial. Your clients and customers want to see you succeed and are pleased to help.
Incidentally getting a good testimonial from a client actually draws them even closer to you, because there is a fundamental psychological principle here that people will always act in a way that is consistent with their stated beliefs.
The very best testimonials are those that are spontaneous and un-requested, because they are most likely to be written from the heart and use everyday language that people relate to. The problem is that these unprompted testimonials are relatively rare for most businesses.
So we need to be proactive, and go out and actively create testimonials.
You need to act like a marketing professional and make getting testimonials (which your quality product or service deserves) a key part of your marketing system. Every happy client should be approached for a testimonial. It will help to have testimonials endorsing each major benefit you offer, or for each major anxiety or problem your product or service helps overcome. Different people buy for different reasons, and you need to have testimonials to motivate each of these people.
Here’s The First Way To Create Testimonials For Your Business:
Evaluation and Feedback Form:
You can create an evaluation and feedback form which asks your customer what they thought of their purchase, and specifically how it has helped them, what changes they’ve seen, and what savings or increased earnings they can pinpoint are due to your product or service.
After every time you make a sale or provide your service . . . you give the customer a postage paid evaluation form to fill out if it’s offline, or you send them an email which directs them to where they can complete a feedback form online.
Better still . . . if you word the feedback form right, they will tell you why your prospects buy …
For example, in a copywriting evaluation form, I would put in questions like these:
Please rank in order of importance WHY you used our professional copywriting services:
I don’t have time to write advertising,
You make my job easy by doing all the writing for me
You provide a complete strategy for taking leads through to new clients
Other. Please specify:
You get the picture?
Now this stuff is nice to know, because it tells you the main reasons why your customer bought from you. However . . . let’s relate this to the testimonial.
Later on in the evaluation form you add:
In question #1 you ranked the main reasons why you took advantage of our services. Please explain how we “delivered” on these benefits, and the specific benefits and results you’ve enjoyed.
Then you leave a big blank space for them to tell you how great you are concerning each specific benefit.
This works like a dream to get far more specific and valuable testimonials that talk about the results other prospects will experience, and this makes it much more powerful and persuasive.
On the evaluation form you should always end with an open-ended question along the lines of this:
IMPORTANT: Please summarise your feelings about our 100% guaranteed copywriting services and give any additional comments, suggestions, or praise.
Then leave another large blank space for them to write in their comments. Of course sometimes this will be left blank. But often this is where you’ll get really strong testimonials. After this question, have a place for them to sign the form, and after they sign it, have two little tick boxes with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response alongside and ask “May I use you feedback for testimonial purposes?”
Here’s The Second, Highly Effective Way To Get Testimonials:
Write the testimonial for your customer!
Your clients and customers are naturally busy people, and there will inevitably be some very satisfied customers who (with the best of intentions) will never get around to filling in and returning an evaluation form.
Also, it’s often difficult for them to write the information you need in a spontaneous and natural way, and you tend to receive more formal and stilted phrases on which to base your testimonial.
So here’s a way you can get a completely natural testimonial, worded in a way that sounds very friendly and genuine. When you need to get testimonials quickly, and you want them to be specific and anecdotal, as we’ve discussed, the best way is to write the testimonial for yourself!
No, I don’t mean make it up or fabricate it. Simply make contact with your customer or client, and after some informal chat about them and their business, and how you’ve been able to help them, say something like…“I wonder if you’d be happy to provide us with a testimonial about your experiences with us.”
When they agree, as they always do, you then offer to ask a few questions and jot down some notes, and email a summary of them over for their approval.
Again, nearly everyone will say yes.
This means that you don’t have to chase your clients for their testimonial, which is not easy to do, and it also means that you get your testimonial written and approved much more quickly.
Also it means that you can vary the exact questions you ask them, to focus and highlight the specific areas of interest regarding their particular business or contract.
In this way you can get a series of testimonials from different people which support the different aspects and benefits of your product or service, e.g. technical performance, reliability, money-saving aspects, increased productivity, quality of facilities, politeness of staff etc.
You can also get testimonials which support different aspects of your service e.g. pre-sales advice, technical support, design ideas, installation and implementation, user training, and after-sales support, which you can then use at different stages of your sales process.
Testimonials can be used effectively in any marketing format:
• Business Cards
• Video Demonstrations
• Audio Demonstrations
• Covering or sales Letters
As a guide, if you have room, the more testimonials the better. Particularly on a web page, or as an insert in a mailing piece, 4 testimonials are much better than just 2, and 8 are better than 4, and 16 are better than 8. Not because many people are going to read them all, but they scan and skim them and dip into the ones that interest them most.
What you are presenting is a weight of evidence that says… all these people cannot be wrong to buy from our company.