We all want to get testimonials from our customers, but of course! There really is no better way to lend credibility to what you are offering than to hear how it has helped others.
The thing is – it can be hard to get people to actually give you a testimonial. You may have asked them for their testimonial and they may have even promised to send you one – but for some reason they don’t!
I believe that most people would really like to give a testimonial, but they get blocked by either:
- being really busy and not having time to create the testimonial or
- not knowing what to actually say in the testimonial
Like anything in life and biz, i’m a big fan of making it easy. Same thing applies when it comes to getting testimonials. A few things you want to consider:
First, you need to ask for the testimonial in a timely fashion. Don’t wait too long after the purchase/event or you may have missed the boat. You need to ask people when they are engaged and excited! If it’s a live event ask for testimonials right then and there, before they walk out the door. If it’s a training program ask for their testimonials on the last call. If you sold them a book give them a week or two to read it first and then ask for their testimonial.
Make the benefits clear to them – what’s in it for them? Sharing comments from the goodness of their heart may not be enough to actually get someone to take time from their busy day. Let them know how you will be using the testimonial (i.e. on your new sales page) and that you will be posting the testimonial with their picture, business name, website URL, etc. Testimonials can be great ‘free advertising’ for those who submit them. As a sidenote for you too – make sure you give testimonials when asked, you may be surprised how many potential new clients can find you as a result.)
Give them a question to answer, don’t just ask them for open ended comments. Again, lots of people get stuck simply because they aren’t sure what to say (and as a result may never do the testimonial). It is much easier for someone to answer a question then it is to come up with something out of the blue. And you can frame your questions in a way that will give you the kind of testimonial that you would like. For example, some questions we like to ask:
- What are your top 3 learnings from this program?
- How has X [name of offering] changed your business?
- If someone was to ask you ‘should I take the X program?’ how would you describe the program and it’s benefits?
If it’s someone that you really want to get a testimonial from – write a sample testimonial for them. This can be a great way to get a testimonial from someone who you know is super busy. If you’ve asked them for a testimonial and they’ve agreed, ask them if they would like you to draft a ‘sample testimonial’ for them… something they can then tweak to fit their voice. Most people love this, as it is much easier to tweak something than it is to come up with something from scratch. And you can also frame the sample in a way that gives you the kind of testimonial that you would ideally like from them.
Give people options on how to submit their testimonial – written, audio or video. Not everything has to be written, and in fact audio & video testimonials can have a REALLY strong impact. I’ve seen some great video testimonial ‘collages’ on sales pages that are powerful stuff. And let people choose what suits them best – if they like to talk give them the option to call a number to do a short recording. If you are at a live event setup a video camera and catch some recordings right there.
Have a contest and make it fun! We all love a contest right? And we all need a deadline to get things done – so come up with a cool prize and let folks know that if they ‘send in their comments by X date’ they will be entered in the draw. We started doing this recently for some of our training programs and have been getting more testimonials as a result.