Perhaps it’s just puppy love, but when your clients show their affection, it feels great. It makes all your labours worthwhile. But this appreciation is worth much more than that, if you can get them to acknowledge you publicly. That’s why testimonials are so important, because no one sells your business better than a satisfied customer.
Amazingly I’ve heard some people say, “Testimonials? We’ll just make them up … everybody does it.” It’s not very ethical, but you can do it if you like. Personally, I think you can always tell when praise is real or invented. Great testimonials tell the story of what your business means to your client: what a difference you made to their business, and/or their life.
When approaching clients for testimonials don’t be afraid to offer them some guidance on what to send you, and remember to choose those clients whose stories will make the most impact. Then get them to answer the following questions:
- What did they do before they came to you, ie what was the problem they were wanting to solve?
- What specific things did they ask you to do? How did they feel during the process?
- What was the result of working with you? Here you are asking them, if possible, to measure that difference. It’s great if they say their business or their swimming technique or whatever improved, but better if they say “Sales increased by 50%” or “I can swim 50 more lengths without stopping, or (*insert appropriate benefit here).”
- Make sure you get them to refer back to the initial problem, and outline how that problem was resolved.
If you can get them to put their thoughts in writing that’s great, but if you are dealing with an extremely busy person you could suggest that you interview them and write up the testimonial yourself. You can then send it to them to approve. Add it to your website or printed material, then sit back and feel the love doing its magic.