We all know how powerful testimonials can be when used in our sales and marketing efforts. However, getting strong testimonials from even the happiest clients is often more painful than it has to be.
Two reasons why getting strong client testimonials is difficult.
- Clients respond to your request with an enthusiastic, “sure, I’m happy to send a testimonial!” . . . and then never send it.
- When they do send a testimonial, it’s often too verbose or lacks substance. What could have been a fantastic asset now feels like a waste.
Here’s what’s really happening in both cases:
In the first instance, they’re stuck on what to write. Yes, they had a good experience with you, but they’re intimidated by how to communicate that clearly. Essentially, they’re suffering from writer’s block.
In the second instance, they don’t really know what makes for a strong testimonial and don’t realize that they’re including irrelevant or unhelpful information.
Powerful testimonials communicate a story of transformation.
How to get a strong client testimonial
Here’s how you can help your clients overcome writer’s block and send you a useful and powerful testimonial that will serve your sales and marketing efforts.
Step 1 – Give clients the option to let you write a testimonial for them.
Now hang with me if you’re questioning my ethics. Everything I’m suggesting is above board and in the best interest of your client.
After they tell you they’re happy to provide a testimonial, don’t just say “thanks” and wait for their response. Help make the process easy for them.
Provide a few questions for them to answer about their experience working with you. They can use them as prompts to make it easier to write their testimonial.
Or, give them the option to send their answers to your questions, and then you craft a testimonial using those answers. Of course, you should send it back to them for their approval before using it.
This serves your CLIENTS by removing any pressure they feel about writing a perfectly worded testimonial.
This benefits YOU because the questions you send them to answer will provide the pieces needed to craft a powerful testimonial that communicates a story of transformation.
How to make the testimonial request
You might be wondering how you frame these options so they land positively with your client.
Here’s an example:
Dear Awesome Client,
Thanks for your willingness to share your experience working with us! Here are two ways you can send over your testimonial:
- Use the questions below as prompts to write 2-3 sentences about your experience working with us and the results you’ve achieved.
- If writing a concise testimonial feels daunting, here’s an alternative. Send over your answers to the questions below. I’ll write a testimonial using your answers and then send it back to you for approval.
When framed this way, offering to write the testimonial for your client makes it feel like you’re serving them — because you are.
You’re not going to say anything they didn’t say themselves. You’re just crafting what they’ve said into a format that communicates their transformation or success and is helpful for your business.
So what questions do you ask them to answer?
Step 2 – Questions to craft a powerful testimonial
Since powerful testimonials communicate transformation, you need to ask questions that uncover that transformation.
The general frame for this starts by establishing the problem they were facing, describing their experience with your product or service, and then showcasing the success they’ve achieved as a result of your product or service.
Simple enough. Problem. Experience with your product/service. Result.
Here are questions to help uncover these three elements:
- What problem were you experiencing that prompted you to work with us?
- How were you feeling about [their current situation that relates to the problem your offer solves]?
- Had you tried to solve this problem before? If so, how did that go?
- Why was it important for you to solve this problem?
Experience with your product/service:
- Describe your experience working with us.
- What did you like about our product/service?
- How do you feel about [their current situation that relates to the problem your offer solves]?
- What does your life look like now that we’ve worked together?
- What results have you experienced as a result of our product/service?
You don’t need to ask all of these questions. Pick one or two from each section to guide your client. Adjust the questions so they make sense based on what you offer and the client you’re sending them to.
Step 3 – Use your client’s answers to write a powerful testimonial
If they choose to let you write their testimonial based on their answers, use their words and write the testimonial in the problem, solution, and result format.
You will probably have to shorten what they’ve said and cut out unnecessary filler information. Using their answers formatted as a problem, solution, and result gives you a mini story to tell about your client’s experience and success working with you.
Once you’ve crafted a testimonial that both accurately reflects their experience AND the work you accomplished for them, send it back to the client for their approval.
And there you have it, how to get strong testimonials from your clients and make the process easy for them.
What to do with your client testimonials once you have them
Now that you have a powerful testimonial, you actually need to use it. Here are a few ideas on how to get the most from them.
- Publish to your website. Typically, testimonials are most effective when sprinkled throughout your site. They don’t need to be published on a single “testimonial” page.
- Google Reviews. If your company serves a regional market, you should have a Google Business Profile. Send your client their testimonial and a link to your Google profile and ask them to copy/paste it there as a review.
- Print Collateral. Include testimonials on brochures or other print collateral you use for your business.
- Proposals. Include one or more testimonials in every proposal you send to prospects.
- Social Media. Using your clients’ words to say how great you are is much more effective than you saying how great you are.
Follow the steps above and start gathering testimonials you’re proud to use in your marketing and sales efforts.