An Easy, Non-Sleazy Way to Ask Clients for Testimonials

Nothing sells like social proof. In fact, if you want to monetize your know-how there is a very simple formula:

Promise of a specific result + Social Proof + Short time frame + Offer = Sales

What is social proof? It’s the simple idea that we are more likely to try something when we know others have had positive experiences with it. It’s why good restaurants are often full; why fads explode; why good films smash box office records. It’s how bestsellers are made. Barbara Corcoran puts it this way, “Everyone wants what everyone wants. No one wants what no one wants”.

One of the best ways to build social proof is through customer testimonials. What’s that you say? Asking people to endorse you feels embarrassing, fake and even sleazy? You don’t know how to ask, or what to ask for? You don’t have a system for collecting testimonials?

Don’t worry, here’s a brilliant guide to collecting testimonials the right way: http://www.iacquire.com/blog/testify-part-ii-how-to-get-credible-customer-testimonials

Takeaway points

  1. Don’t call it a testimonial. Testimonials make customers feel nervous and it’s embarrassing for both parties, (“Please tell me why I’m so great”). Instead, ask for feedback. Nothing icky there.
  2. Give your clients a structure to follow: what hesitations did you have before buying? (This will help you relate to similar prospects in your marketing material, to “read their minds”). What benefit sealed the deal for you? What is your favourite product feature? What have you been able to achieve using the product? Who would you recommend use our service? Do you want to add anything? Can we use your feedback as a testimonial? A simple, polite email with these questions is all it takes.
  3. Construct a testimonial from your client’s feedback. Tidy up the words and make it readable but do not embellish. Sounding credible and relatable is more persuasive than hype.
  4. The best time to ask for feedback is after a positive exchange.
  5. Put a system in place to always ask for testimonials. Done correctly, your clients will appreciate the follow-up.

Action steps

  1. Approach existing customers and ask for their feedback. Suggested wording: Hello Paul, I’m always looking to improve my service and your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Knowing how I can do better in the future helps put food on the table and keep the electric on 🙂 Could I ask for three minutes of your time to answer the following? (At this point, list the questions outlined in #2 above) If I can similarly help you Paul, just ask. All the best, Sara.
  2. Give your testimonials prominent position on your website. They’re one of the most powerful ways to close a sale.

Photo credit: rabanito via Foter.com / CC BY

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