If you’re anything like me, when you’re considering purchasing a new ‘fridge, car, holiday, or any large item, you take the time to check out reviews on your potential purchase first.
After all, when you’re shelling out your hard-earned cash, the last thing you want is to regret your decision for years ahead.
Many of your potential clients do the same thing before they decide who to hire.
So if you don’t have any good testimonials or reviews available to them, you’re either hoping to rely on your clients’ blind faith, or accepting that they’re going to go somewhere else.
Let’s be honest, neither sounds like an ideal way to run a business, does it?
Here are my top tips for collecting an impressive selection of compelling testimonials that, in highly crowded market, just might make all the difference to your success:
Don’t ask? Don’t get.
There’s really no point being bashful about asking your biggest fans to say something nice about you and your services. You’ll be amazed just how delighted people can be to pen a line or two for someone they love working with. It’s an easy way for them to express their appreciation.
If a client makes a positive comment on the fly, thank them and ask if it’s OK to share it. Either as a testimonial, or as a review. When you’ve had a long, prosperous working relationship with someone, the chances are they’re going to be more than happy to advocate for you.
Stop being so self-conscious and Ask nicely!
There are two good reasons for being specific about the feedback you seek from your clients.
First up, you’re more likely to get the wording you need to market your business successfully. And secondly, you’ll make it so easy for your clients to respond that you’ll be quickly inundated with powerful testimonials.
There are degrees of specificity and ease that you can aim for. You can simply ask a targeted question, such as: “What was the outcome for you of the work we did together?”
You can provide a template for your client to complete. For example, “Working with Catherine on my ____ meant that I was able to ____. Her ability to ____ has [specific result].”
Or, if you’re confident in your relationship with your client, you could go the whole nine yards and provide a prepared ‘quotation’ for your client to approve or edit.
Make it easy to review your services
Several salons and spas I know of have an iPad or tablet at their reception desk. When the client expresses that she has really enjoyed her treatment, she is asked would she mind leaving a quick review on Facebook or Google reviews. If she agrees she is handed the tablet so she can leave her review there and then.
Canvas a range of (positive) responses
If every testimonial describes the transformational power of your skills as “life-changing” then, even if it’s true, prospective clients might smell a rat. It can get like scrolling through those pages of fake, paid-for ‘customer reviews’ on Amazon.
In among your list of glowing quotations, it can be a smart idea to throw in a couple of the good-but-not-mind-blowing positive comments you can get occasionally.
For example, if you’re an accountant, you can’t have every testimonial celebrating six-figure savings. Maybe someone really appreciated the £400 you clawed back from the taxman for them. Put that in too. It’s realistic and helps you appeal to a wider range of readers.
Once upon a time, there was a client in need of help…
If you have ever attended any of my classes, then you’ll know I’m always harping on about the power of storytelling. I make absolutely no apology for reminding you again here. Use your testimonials to tell a story that brings your audience in and engages them.
Give potential clients a reason to relate to you and your work which shows how they can benefit too. They’re far more likely to choose your business – and stick around longer – if they feel emotionally connected to you.
Gracias. Arigato. Efharisto. Asante. Thank you.
If you follow these tips, you’re certain to get the great testimonials that will help more people choose YOUR business.
One last tip: find a personal way to say “thank you” to all those lovely people who gave you nice words to use. Why not send them a physical thank you card? After all, you can bet their contribution will be worth more than the £2 you’ll spend at Hallmark.
Where do you use these testimonials and reviews?
On your business cards, marketing materials, website, social media, email signature ….
Want to drive all the clients you want into your business—clients who provide you with stacks of great testimonials of course? Get in touch for a friendly, no obligation chat.