“Testimonials represent the most powerful, productive and profitable promotional strategy I have ever encountered. Stop looking for a magic bullet recipe that will attract clients or advance your career. "Instead, hone your craft, develop your expertise or build your skills to such an extent that clients and colleagues will brag about you and your value." Michael Hughes. Testimonials are free and they are gold. If I were to go on and on about how great I am, I bet you would roll your eyes. Somehow when we toot our own horn, it's a bit off putting to people. But, when someone else testifies to my helpfulness... well then, maybe it's worth paying attention to.
The secret is to ask for them. When someone says; ‘Wow that was fantastic. That really helped me." That's your cue to say thanks and ask them if they would write you a quick email to that effect, or Ask: "Do you mind if I share that statement on my website"? Put those one sentence quotes on your LinkedIn profile, or your website and let those testimonials help you gain credibility.
Ask three people for whom you know you have been helpful, or who can speak to your character to write you one sentence. Ask them what you bring to the table, or what they value most about what you do, or how you are most helpful to them. Then, ASK them for permission to use the quote in your marketing. Post those quotes in prominent places.
Asking for permission is the key. One of my pet peeves is when I see testimonial quotes on a website that end without a real name like Kathy P from Topeka, or housewife from NJ. I immediately assume that the quote is made up. People who are unwilling to have their names be connected with your success are not worthy testimonials.
Here are some opportunities to gain testimonials. Training evaluations are nearly always anonymous. But, you could have a question at the end that says, if you are willing to share your comment as a testimonial, please indicate your name here. When people comment on your newsletter or blog, reply with a request to share the comment on your website. Or simply email your satisfied customers and ask them to write a sentence or two about your service to be included in your promotional materials or websites.
If you get a lot of ‘no’s’ to those requests, it’s time to take stock in your service or product value. If you are delivering high quality service, people will be happy to endorse you. Ask people why they are uncomfortable endorsing you and make adjustments according to their feedback. Once I had a person ask me for a testimonial and I told them why I was uncomfortable giving one. They listened to that feedback and made a great effort to change my opinion. About 6 months later, when my experience had been improved, I did write an endorsement letter. So, you can use this strategy to get valuable feedback about your service as well.
Testimonials will inspire confidence in others to work with you. So, ask for them today.