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Testimonials Are an Important Piece of Your Business Strategy

Use your greatest assets, your clients and your referral partners, to grow your business.  Their words can make a difference in how others see you!

Testimonials Are an Important Piece of Your Business Strategy

Created by Amy D. Kilpatrick, President and Co-Founder, Nspired Networking Enterprises, LLC – December 2015

Use your greatest assets, your clients and your referral partners, to grow your business.  Their words can make a difference in how others see you!

Many business professionals will focus on other marketing tactics and fail to recognize how important testimonials are to gaining new clients or customers.  You spend a good amount of time and energy driving prospects to your website or online profiles to learn more about your product or services, but let’s face it, you want them to do more than just look; you want them to buy! They are more likely to convert from virtual window shoppers to consumers or clients if they can read positive comments from others who have already used your product or service. 

Testimonials play a large part in gaining referrals also.  In order for someone to refer you, they must trust you; after all, they are putting their credibility on the line when they recommend your products or services to others.  While credibility is gained over time, testimonials can help reduce the time it takes for someone to feel more comfortable with referring you.  By seeing that others have had positive experiences, it allows them to lower their reserves. By increasing the number of your referral partners who are actively telling others about you, you have duplicated yourself that many times over. This is a great strategy of virtually being in more than one place at a time.

Here are some tips to generating testimonials from your clients and customers and how to strategically use them.

Give first. By acting first and saying nice things about another, they are more likely to return the favor.  The tone, length and professionalism that you use when writing their testimonial is more likely to be duplicated.  So if you are looking for more than a thumbs-up or one-liners, follow the age old adage, “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.”  

You see this example at work all the time.  How many times have you had someone like or share your post on your social media sites and then you feel compelled to do the same for them. 

You must be sincere in your approach.  By being honest and genuine it gives authenticity to your statements making them more believable, which is what you are looking for in return.

Resist the urge to use FAKE testimonials. Be prepared to give any of your prospects permission to contact the person who provided your testimonial for verification of their statement.  This could be the difference in closing or losing the deal.

Ask for them. Many times we forget to utilize our best resources, our own clients.  Many of your clients would love to help you, you only have to ask them.  Make it easy for them to provide the testimonials.  You can send them an electronic or manual questionnaire that allows them to answer questions in a way you can use the information.  Take advantage of your clients that use social media platforms.

For example, if your clients uses Facebook, have them rate your business page and leave a comment.  If you are connected to them on LinkedIn, message them from the site so that it is added to your profile.  One      advantage to LinkedIn, is that the testimonial will display on the area of expertise that you requested from your client or customer.

Remember to be specific if you need them to be specific.  Many of us wear multiple hats and the person you are asking for the testimonial may know you in all of them.  The last thing you want is for someone to take the time to write a testimonial that is unusable.  Here are some examples:

  • A specific product that you want to showcase.
  • If you have worked with them on a project or a committee.
  • The quality of service you have provided.
  • If you work or own different businesses, be specific about the one you are requesting the testimonial.

By doing this you have a better chance of getting what you want. Also, feel free to go back to the person and have them make any corrections if needed.  Most are more than happy to make any changes as they want    you to use their testimonial.

Capture the moment. Many times you may find yourself in a situation where you are meeting face-to-face with a client and they mention how happy they are with your product or service.  They may send a quick email or casual post on your social media sites.  Take full advantage of these moments, stop and ask them if you can use their statement as a testimonial.

When this happens, send them an email with what you thought you heard them say.  This gives you another chance to thank them, allow for any corrections and to clarify that you would like to use it on your marketing   material as needed.  It is always important to gain permission before posting anything a client or customer says or writes to you. 

Names hold more weight. By gaining permission to use a testimonial you are able to be very strategic in where you use it. For example, if you are preparing a quote, targeted marketing materials or ads, you can use the testimonials from clients or customers in those industries. 

Best practice tip: Setup a folder in your computer for all of your testimonials by clients or customers.  In that file, try to have their headshot, company logo, an image of their business card, permission statements and     their testimonial.  This gives you flexibility on how they are used on various marketing tools, such as websites or printed material.

Share the news! Once you have gained your testimonial, take the time and let the other person know how you used it.  If on social media platforms, share on their page with a big thank you.  Your clients or customers want to feel like they helped. 

Let them know how much you appreciate them being a part of your success story.

Remember that by providing a great service or quality product you have what it takes to put this tool to work for you to help you generate new and repeat business.  Take the first steps and watch the results that your existing clients, customers and referral partners can generate for you.

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