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There are many reasons to use testimonials (quotations from satisfied customers or clients), but perhaps the most strategic use of these endorsements is to influence your prospective buyer.

Testimonials are also the “ace in the hole” for many marketers.

It’s that idea of “social proof” again – prospective customers want to hear about the experiences of other people like themselves, not a company’s sales pitch.

So… how can you get more testimonials and feedback from your real live customers?

This may sound oversimplified (many marketing strategies are)… but the answer is:

Just ask for them!

I’m serious!

Write an Email or Letter

It’s as easy as sending an email (or writing a letter) to your customer list, saying something like:

“Dear Sabrina,

I need your help.

I’m in the process of putting together a list of testimonials from satisfied clients just like you, and I’d love to include a short story about your experiences with my company. Would you help me?

Could you tell me, in just a few short sentences, what you like most about my services, as well as the specific ways I’ve helped to improve your business?

I can’t tell you how much I would appreciate this.

Thank you!

Sincerely yours,

Charlie”

Once you receive the testimonial, be sure to ask them for their permission to use the quote in your marketing.

Using a testimonial signed off from:

R.B. – London

…is not nearly as effective (or believable) as a testimonial signed with full details, like:

Richard Branson – London, England 

Ask Them on The Spot!

If you’re doing a lot of business over the phone, ask your happy customers if you can feature their story on your website. Write it down for them – then send it to them with their permission to use it!

If you’re doing business in person, make sure comment cards are readily available!

You can also put comment cards directly into customers’ hands when you complete a transaction, hand over a product, etc.

Capturing testimonials should be all about ease and convenience for your customers. If it’s a hassle, they won’t want to do it – and you’re actually negatively impacting their experience if you pester them about it…

For you, immediacy is also a big factor. The fresher the interaction between your company and a customer, the more accurate the testimonial will be…

…And the more likely the customer will be to provide it!

Keep This in Mind

Beyond just reaching out to customers and asking for testimonials, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind:

  • Never, ever, ever, ever, ever use fake or embellished testimonials – you will get caught, and you will get in trouble. Transparency is KEY!!!
  • Long, specific testimonials are better than short and general ones (i.e. “great job!”)
  • You can ask your happiest and most satisfied customers to write their testimonial directly on Google reviews, Amazon reviews (if any of your products are sold through their channels), Yelp, and a whole host of 3rd party companies that can help capture and capitalize on customer reviews…

You can even take pieces of your best social media interactions and turn them into testimonials to feature on your website!

For example:

  • Facebook pages for companies come with a reviews tab. Ask people to leave you a review!
  • LinkedIn Recommendations – you can ask people for this too!
  • Twitter Mentions – people love to give you shout outs on Twitter. Grab those testimonials and use them!

First and foremost, the best way to gain honest feedback is to develop rapport and relationships with the people you do business with. If they feel like you’re receptive to their comments, they will happily share them!

Remember – solid customer feedback is beneficial for everyone involved. Let your customers know this, and they will likely be happy to help…

What are your favorite testimonial gathering strategies?

In your corner,

Charlie

what now?

Continue reading for more resourceful information.