We all appreciate the power of testimonials, just look at how many decisions to buy, eat or stay somewhere are dictated by reviews or ratings. It's the same when it come you your business and getting new clients.
In my previous post I discussed the difference between a good and bad testimonials. This time I'll share how to always get great testimonials and using them as a magnet for attracting new clients.
How to get good ones
The ideal way to get a good testimonial from client is to ask for it at the point of most value exchanged. By this I mean when you are handing over the final designs and the client is delighted with them.
Don't leave it too long as things can change as often the client has moved on and is busy. Trying to rush a testimonial from a busy client can backfire spectacularly. If you're not careful you can find yourself in a position of hassling them to get a testimonial. Anyone who is hassled into writing a testimonial won't write good one.
Maybe time has passed and you need to update your website with the new testimonials and you need to reach out to a former client. There are a few things you can do to make the exchange as painless as possible.
Firstly you need to make it easy for the client to give your testimonial. This means they shouldn't have to think about it and it shouldn't take them any time to do.
The most effective way that I have found to do this is to reach out to former client and explain why you a testimonial. When asking for the testimonial, discuss how successful the project has been for them and if they have seen any business growth.
You could suggest something about 'how much money the business has made since they worked' with you, or 'how much money did you save the business', or 'how impressed they were with how quickly you were able to turn the project around'.
If they agree that you have helped them, ask them to mention that in the testimonial.
As I said in the beginning, we are looking for a series of testimonials that cover all aspects that potential clients are looking for. Not a load of testimonials to all sound the same.
The other option, is to write the testimonial yourself based on what you can remember. Now, you cannot lie or make anything up, I cannot stress this enough. This isn't an opportunity to write ridiculously hyperbolic testimonials about yourself that you will never be able to deliver on.
It is crucial that you write something that is accurate, fair and gives a true reflection of the experience.
If you do write something over the top, not only will the client not sign it off, but when potential clients hire you, they will be disappointed as you will not live up to expectations. Word will get out and this will damage your reputation within the industry.
Send the testimonial to the former client explaining that you understand how busy they are and if they are happy to sign this off, then you will go ahead and add it to your website.
You must also make it clear that they have the option to amend, update or even rewrite the testimonial themselves if they are not happy with it. If you have made a testimonial fair and accurate, more often than not they will simply reply with "yeah that's great, go ahead and put it on your website."
This strategy enables you to gather multiple styles of testimonials, all of which are completely accurate and will appeal to potential clients. The whole process is completed in a very short amount of time, without the need for hassling or nagging of former clients.
Maximise this opportunity to reconnect with former clients by reminding them of your availability and put yourself up for any new jobs that they might have coming up. Include something of value in your email such as a link to a useful article or some sort of free advice on how they could improve something in their business. This could be anything from spotting a typo, to coming up with a design for a new logo.
What to do with them
Now that you have your testimonials it's key that you make them easy to read and more importantly, easy to find. Have a separate testimonial section in which you can put all of your expanded full testimonials.
This should be clearly labelled and easy to access. Then add the best testimonials to your homepage, preferably near the top. Take the edited highlights of the longer testimonials and make them no more than one or two sentences in length.
As you continue to grow, focus on other areas of business growth that will appeal to new clients. Capturing a new market, expanding the franchise, new found publicity or celebrity endorsements.
So to sum up
- Try to get testimonials as you are finishing up with your current clients.
- Make sure they are specific and will appeal to any potential clients were looking at your website.
- Put them in prominent positions and update them regularly.