Incredible testimonials are key to being able to attract ideal clients, because there is no stronger, more effective & compelling marketing copy than the words that a happy client writes about you and the results she achieved while working with you.
Testimonials — when done right — have the power to motivate someone browsing your website to get in touch for a conversation, and also have the power to be the determining factor when someone chooses to work with you over someone else.
Over the years, I’ve learned many lessons about how to elicit fantastic testimonials from clients, and here are some of the most important ones:
- Be very specific:
Don’t be open ended in your testimonial request. If you are, you won’t necessarily get the content you were looking for from your client. They may generally say that working with you was great, but forget to mention that they lost 10 pounds the first month you worked together or that their chronic headaches are completely gone.
Instead, ask very clear and focused questions to help guide your client. For example, for that client that got rid of her headaches, you could ask questions like — “What were things like before we started working together? How often were your headaches? How bad were they? And, how do you feel now? What’s the current status of your headaches?”
- Give a deadline and followup:
Chances are that your clients really want to give you testimonials, but chances are also that they’ve got a lot on their plate and responding to you may not be at the top of their priority list. If you let them know that there is a time element involved, they will be much more likely to make the testimonial a priority, and sometimes, a followup is the exact gentle nudge that’s needed, too.
- Ask at the right moment:
There’s a common misconception that the best time to ask for a testimonial is when you’ve completed your work with a client. That’s not always the best time. I have found that the moment to get the most powerful testimonial is when someone has just experienced a big win or patch of forward movement, supported by you. So be on the lookout for when you are co-creating big results with your client and request the testimonial then.
- Explain why you’re asking:
Whenever I send a testimonial request to a client, I explain to them why I’m asking for one. I let them know that it would be so powerful for the women in my community who are considering working with me to hear about their story and successes, and I also let them know how inspiring their story will be to others.
Sharing with your client the why behind your request gives more incentive.
- What to do when you’re starting out and haven’t had any clients yet:
If you’re reading this article and thinking — “Well this is great for someone with experience, but I’m just starting out. What do I do?!?”, not to worry, you can have great testimonials, too. If you don’t have clients to ask, ask people that know you to write about their experience of you, your qualities, what they see in you, and how you have helped them. It will yield enough material to get you started with testimonials.
The last thing, for now, that I’ll share about testimonials is this: the process of writing a testimonial can be a very powerful and productive activity for the client herself. Why? It’s an opportunity for your client to sit down, really focus on all her accomplishments and how far she’s come, and totally own her progress and results in a big way. So valuable to do this!