Savvy marketers recognize the power of testimonials and use these to ramp up their marketing efforts. Sure you can tell someone about yourself, how good you are, how your business is THE business to meet their needs BUT it is so much more powerful when someone else tells them. Seriously.

Isn’t marketing to be about value and benefits for the client? It’s not about YOU  . . .  and that’s the magic of a good testimonial. Allow others to boast about you, your services, and your products. Allow these testimonials to tell your story when you can’t speak to the person one-on-one. And, who better to speak on your behalf than those satisfied with your services and products.

The words of others who attest to your services or products carry real weight. Think about it. You have dinner at Restaurant X. The food is scrumptious so you tell friends about it. If you have dinner and it’s bad, I mean really, really bad, what happens? You tell five, ten, maybe even more — friends, family, the people standing in line with you at the grocery store — that the food or service or whatever was bad. Granted the bad reviews will always be talked about more (it’s spoken from frustration or dissatisfaction) but that’s not to say the positive experiences aren’t to be found or won’t be shared.

The good stuff is out there. Let’s make it easy to find. Help them filter through everything to discover the nuggets of gold spoken or written by others who have tried, tested, and use your services or products. Think about when you need a referral for something. What do you do? You ask someone you trust.

“Who/what did you use?”

“Who/what do you recommend?”

It’s those personal testaments, the firsthand experience stories that carry the most weight.

Showcasing those shiny gems of acclamation and praise where they can shine their brightest is KEY. Use testimonial words in places like:

  • Websites
  • Welcome packets
  • Marketing pieces such as brochures, flyers, postcards, trade show signage
  • Advertising specials
  • Cover letters
  • As a quote in a RFP
  • Ebook teasers
  • Sales pages
  • Email campaigns
  • On-hold messages for incoming calls

TIP: A good rule to follow in marketing with testimonials is to add no more than two per page spread or bunched or as a highlighted graphical quote.

Where do these testimonials come from?
And, what makes a good one?

They can be requested or harvested. Requesting a testimonial is as easy as asking. Make requests to former and current clients, each new client, and business colleagues you have close working relationships with – the people who interact with you frequently and can give a genuine assessment of you and your services or products.

Harvesting is acting on a spontaneous correspondence or conversation that would make an amazing testimonial of how you’ve handled something and how this benefitted them. Ask if you can write down what they said or copy what they wrote for inclusion in your testimonial files. Recently I harvested a testimonial from a client that expressed joy in outsourcing a task to me permitting her the needed time and attention to generate $10,000 in income. (Now, that’s an awesome testimonial to have!)

A good testimonial will have several key elements:

  • It relates to the reader that someone is just like them.
  • It speaks of a problem that was solved for them by using your services or products.
  • It testifies to the benefit and value you provided to them.

Observing testimonial etiquette

In general, if you receive a testimonial it’s always good business practice to offer a reciprocal testimonial, where applicable. Some testimonials will come from those who would have no use for a testimonial and a thank you note is better.

I suggest not editing a testimonial but keep it in its natural state with any minor grammar or spelling errors intact. This lends itself to be genuine and not give the impression of being a manufactured statement. I recommend including the person’s full name, business name, and adding a hyperlink to their website.   Include the city and state/province for anyone not having a website address.

Spreading the love

Whenever you experience top-notch service I encourage you to take a moment and let that individual know. Surprise them with a note or email telling them so. Be genuine, be specific, and be generous with telling them why their service or product worked for you and your immediate need. I often write something like, “I really appreciate you and  ‘X’ that you did. I took a moment to write a  testimonial you may use  however you like.”  Not only will the recipient get a well deserved boost for the day but so will you. It’s such a rush to give a testimonial when it’s unexpected.

Now, let’s be like savvy marketing pros and showcase those testimonials that you keep hidden in that file cabinet, huh?

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