How Testimonials connect you with new client opportunities.
When I talk to my clients about using their testimonials to help connect with potential new clients, there are usually a couple of things that come up. If they are not currently using testimonials in their marketing or connection strategy it’s usually because of a couple of things. Either they are reluctant and even a little embarrassed to ASK for the testimonial. Or they have asked before and gotten polite but basically useless testimonials.
► What are Testimonials & Why You Need Them.
Testimonials are more than just smart business strategies. Taking the time to collect them, and use them in future marketing and social media proof means money in the bank. So why don’t more people capitalize on this technique. Perhaps it’s because they are unsure of what to ask for, and how they will use it.
First of all, do people care about your online testimonials or reviews? Yes, yes they do. In fact, as I said before most people look for you online, and discover who you are and who you serve. And most importantly, they make the decision if you are the person that other people know, like and trust. Customer review studies as recent as 2019, say that online reviews influence the purchase decisions for 93% of consumers. So that means, that just because you have raving fans you can’t just assume they will tell all of their friends about you. It means that you should probably take the time to give them a consistent and relevant platform so they can tell the world about you. That can be done in lots of ways, but no denying that Testimonials is one very powerful way of doing that.
► How to Get Amazing Testimonials:
If you have helped one person get the RESULTS that you promised in your training, coaching, or course, you have the potential for getting testimonials. So, let’s make sure your first impression is a good one. But how do you start to accumulate testimonials to use in your marketing, website, and social media opportunities? How you you ask a client to write something about you that is both positive and well written?
How do you ask someone to brag about you? And make it usable, something that is going to say how they feel about you, but will also be usable for you to get more clients from their testimonials. It’s not as hard as you might think.
HINT: Use Google Docs or Trello to start building a catalog of potential testimonies and review starters, based on what people are saying online. Take screenshots of anything nice anyone says about you and your program.
If you follow these basic techniques, you should be able to get amazing testimonials each and every time.
- I believe that everyone should have an onboarding sequence for new clients. This should include an intake questionnaire in some form. At the end, perhaps ask new clients something like, “At the end of your coaching session/training, would you be willing to give me a client testimonial as to the benefits you received from this program?” This way it shouldn’t come as a surprise later to them.
- Keep really good notes during the process of your sessions, or during the course. You can even ask in private Facebook groups for feedback, either in the group or privately. Save any comments of your program or coaching via screenshots. And notes for reminding clients later of complimentary remarks for the testimonials.
- At the end of your program, asking your client personally how they experienced your coaching and what they have achieved. You should expect this to result in the best testimonials while it is still fresh on their minds. However, they may not have fully experienced the most impactful results until later. So be sure and follow up later, as well.
► Setting up an easier process for gathering testimonials
Asking for a testimonial from the beginning, establishes expectations. When you begin your onboarding process, whether it is online or in real life, preparing your client for the expectation of the testimonial helps you to stay on the same page throughout the process.
COMMENT CARDS. Keep it simple, you can use the comment cards at live events that allow for testimonials. If you are attending an event, be sure that it is okay with the promoters. But comment cards with incentives can be an amazing way to encourage comments, both good and bad about the audiences experience with you and your content. The incentive doesn’t have to be large, and can include asking for email address to receive a ‘freebie’. Even in the digital age, getting the basic information doesn’t have to be complicated. Just be clear on the card, that they will be receiving emails from you. Allowing for usage in your marketing materials, and social media. You can also take photos of the cards to include in social posts.
CAN I QUOTE YOU ON THAT. Some of the easiest ways to get a testimonial, is when someone just says something amazing about your program. It may not be perfect, but you can ask if it’s okay to quote them. Most of the time, my clients have said ‘SURE’, everyone wants to be heard. So it’s the easiest ask. I also follow it with a screenshot of their comment, usually in facebook or in a private message.
DIGITAL IS THE MOST POWERFUL. The most powerful and diverse testimonials are ones that are digital. Just have your client grab their camera phone and have them talk about their experience with your product or service. I love this because you can get more connection literally through their eyes, and voice inflections. And then you can type out all or specific quotes to use on social media or on your website in addition to using their video.
ASK FOR AN EMAIL or DIRECT MESSAGE QUOTABLE. Direct messaging is one of the fastest-growing and most effective ways to get in touch with your client and ask them for a quote. Sending them a message on Facebook lets you leverage your personal connections, without it seeming intrusive.
The message should be brief and to the point, friendly, and remember to ASK them for the testimonial. Also, leave your email address if you are wanting a quick quote or a link to have them to ‘leave a review’ your FB Business Page. Keep it very casual and light. It shouldn’t be overly complicated. If they get stuck you can always send them a Testimonial suggestion in your email.
► TESTIMONIAL TEMPLATES
Many people find it easier to fill in the blanks of a testimonial template, using the words as writing prompts to help structure their thinking. Here are a few of my testimonial templates to make things easier.
Before you send these out to a client for a testimonial…do two things. What are the results that you want to promote? When you ASK for the testimonial, be sure and include ideas for them to write about..it could be just reminding them of what they said to you before…and then asking them about the results since then. Or saying…I’d really like feedback on my ‘connection strategies’. How did that work out for you, or what were your results?
I would also fill in the blanks as much as possible…and leave the blanks for your clients to fill in their statements.
Hi, I am [CLIENT’S NAME] with [CLIENT’S BUSINESS] and I had the opportunity to work with [COACH/PRODUCT] and I enjoyed learning this [DURING STATEMENT) about [PRODUCT/SERVICE) it really helped me to do [RESULTS STATEMENT].
Before I worked with [COACH/PRODUCT]. My world was like this [BEFORE STATEMENT]. And this is what I learned through the program was [DURING STATEMENT]. Now my world is different because of this [RESULTS STATEMENT].
Before I signed up for [COACH/PRODUCT]. I believed [BEFORE STATEMENT]. But now I believe this [AFTER STATEMENT]. And this is how I feel about it now [RESULTS STATEMENT].
I had tried [OTHER PRODUCTS] with a lack of results. [COACH/PRODUCT] helped me to result from working with [PRODUCT/SERVICE]. If you are looking for someone to help you to do [RESULTS STATEMENT]. I would recommend [COACH/PRODUCT].
►So, what do you need in a client testimonial?
It is just as simple as asking. I know right? It seems harder than that…and it kinda is, but you have to be consistent. Knowing what you want to ask, and how you are going to ask it make the ASK less scary, I promise. When you ask for a testimonial, your odds of success skyrocket if your request includes the right ingredients. Being prepared, strategic and consistent is the ingredients for a successful testimonial ask.
A while back, I needed a ride from the Salt Lake City Airport to a private retreat location where I was delivering a keynote speech. The host had arranged for an Uber driver to pick me up and take me to the location 45 minutes a way. Now, if you’ve ever travelled with me, when there is an opportunity to meet someone new. Well, I’m going to do it. You can find out the most interesting things about a person if you just ask the right questions. And it’s an opportunity to tell a little about you too. And watch for the connection to occur. We will talk about this technique later, but mainly it’s a good way to pass the time constructively…and with a somewhat captive audience.
It was at the conclusion of our trip that I decided to do something a bit different than the standard tip, and “thanks for the ride” comment, which he was probably expecting. In addition to the expected, I did something unexpected. I said to him, “This was an amazing ride. If I could say anything in my review that would help you get your next customer, what would that be?” You could tell that no one had asked him before.
He stammered and dug the toe of his shoe into the ground, trying to come up with something. He finally said, “Just give me 5 stars”. And so I did. At least he knew what was considered ‘success’ in his industry. But what he missed out on was the opportunity to have me tell the world something amazing that would have helped him get the next fair, and the one after that, and so on.
You should know what it means to get results, or create ‘success’ in your industry. And more than that you should know how to ask for reviews that will ‘matter’ to your next client too.
►What does a good testimonial look like for you?
It’s not this:
“Charlene is an amazing PERSON, and really cares about her customers.”
While the sentiment is very nice, and heartfelt, however it doesn’t tell me ANYTHING about the EXPERIENCE of working with Charlene or the RESULTS that I can also expect by working with Charlene.
I think we can do better.
Even Google Maps is asking questions to help people to tell more about their experiences with specific brick and mortar businesses. It’s clearly a better way to guide recommendations for Google My Business effectiveness. Questions like: Can you get appetisers at this restaurant? What is the wait time like? Is there any parking close by? They are posted, with answers. It’s a whole new twist to FAQs, right?
So, if you were to reverse engineer your FAQs what would you want your clients to know about working with you? Quite simply those are the answers we are looking for your Raving Clients to be telling other people for you. Let’s see if I can make this easier for you.
The one consistent truth is that a great reviews helps others discover the coach that is just right for them. Here are some questions that will help you to give your client some ideas on what information to give you for an amazing testimonial:
- What was your problem before you bought/joined [our product/service]?
- What results do you get/have you gotten from [our product/service]?
- What kept you from buying [our product/service] sooner?
- What exactly did you like most about [our product/service]?
- If you were to recommend [our product/service] to your best friend, what would you say?
►So, how do you ask a client for a testimonial?
So let’s take a look at how you can use the online space to give your current clients a place to talk about you is a great first step. It’s taking positive word-of-mouth to a whole new social level. For brick and mortar stores google reviews can make a huge difference in how you are seen or not seen in the online space. But it seems for online coaches, membership owners, and speakers testimonials can be a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be.
Here are my three favorite places to find hidden clients testimonials:
Utilize your email list. Using your email list will let you get in touch with people with whom you’ve already interacted. This way, it won’t feel like an intimidating shot-in-the-dark email. If they’re on your email list or have given you their email, they’re probably on good terms with you already and would welcome you into their inbox!
Reach out on social media. If done correctly, social media can be a great way to connect with clients and ask for a testimonial. But don’t nag them. I would ask, and then perhaps send a reminder email, and then move on.
In Person. If you have a good connection with clients and the opportunity presents itself for a face-to-face conversation you should grab this opportunity for a phone camera recording or FB Live to record their experiences. Don’t forget to get and give a selfie photo opp too. This means a lot to most clients to get this kind of personal attention. It is greatly appreciated and will be gold in the testimonial department.
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