One of the best ways to market your business is by providing proof that you get results for your clients. It is the tried and true, client testimonial which provides social proof that you or your business are phenomenal and provide sustainable results for your clients.
As a business owner, you probably know the power of testimonials and positive online reviews. However, if you are not currently using testimonials to promote your business, you are missing a golden opportunity.
Since you are reading this article, you’re probably an entrepreneur who is likely:
- Selling something online or offline.
- You recognize that having testimonials is a critical part of doing business.
- You are not sure about how to ask your clients for testimonials that help you boost your business.
Here’s the thing. Not all testimonials are created equally. Testimonials can be great for your ego or (image) or great for helping you boost sales.
WHAT MAKES A TESTIMONIAL EFFECTIVE?
If you are going to use testimonials, make sure they are effective. There are three ways you can determine if a testimonial is effective.
- It tells a story
- It demonstrates revenue or results
- It showcases a transformation
There are two types of testimonials that most business owners and entrepreneurs typically utilize. One type is the complimentary testimonial and the other type is the transformational testimonial.
The complimentary testimonial is one in which the client tells how great the service provider is and how much they like them. In other words, they are very complimentary of the service provider and it strokes their ego or makes them feel good.
The transformational testimonial is one in which the client talks about how the service provider helped them with a particular problem, challenge or need they were experiencing. The client talks about the results and benefits they experienced as a result of working with or buying from the service provider. This type of testimonial is like having the client tell everyone who sees their testimonial, why they should also do business with the service provider. In a way, it’s like an endorsement.
Below are two very different testimonials. (One is effective and one is not.)
Example 1. (Complimentary)
Joe is a very intelligent accountant. I really appreciated his attention to detail and great customer service. I enjoyed doing business with him.
Example 2 (Transformational)
Joe was awesome to work with. Before I began working with Joe, I was unsure about whether I was taking the proper deductions on my tax return. After Joe completed my consultation and prepared my taxes, he showed me how I could take deductions that saved me over $8,000 per year. I was incredibly pleased and grateful to have someone like Joe in my corner. His attention to detail is impeccable. I highly suggest that you contact Joe to have him do your taxes if you want to save money.
In analyzing both of the above testimonials, you can see they are drastically different. One testimonial gives the reader (if it were in print) or viewer (if it were in video) a clear picture of what Joe, the service provider actually did to help the client. The other testimonial simply compliments Joe and the reader or viewer probably feels like an outsider. In a complimentary testimonial it is rather boring for the reader or viewer because it doesn’t tell them why THEY should care. In the above comparison, one testimonial will actually help the service provider boost sales and one will not.
If you want to do a better job of getting the kind of testimonials that will help you boost sales, start by asking your clients very detailed questions. Once your clients answer the following questions (or similar questions), you will have a better idea about their experience doing business with you. You will also know the exact transformation that you, (the service provider) actually helped them with.
THE QUESTIONS THAT PROVIDE THE BEST TESTIMONIALS
Here is a list of questions you can ask to get testimonials that help you get more clients, boost sales and grow your business:
- Describe what was happening before you decided to work with us.
- What were the top two goals you hoped to achieve?
- Tell us what you tried before?
- What was the roadblock keeping you from achieving your goal and how did this make you feel?
- If you weren’t able to achieve this goal, what is the risk?
- What did you like about the results you have achieved?
- How is your life different?
- How is your business different?
- What was your favorite part about working with us?
- Why would you tell someone to work with us/buy from us?
These questions help uncover your client’s story. The answers to these questions paint a picture of before they began working with you and after they began working with you. It tells their story of transformation in their own words. Ask these questions in a phone interview or through a survey. It is not a good idea to ask these questions without a method of documenting the client’s answers.
Perhaps you are thinking, “I don’t want to interview my clients about their experience with my company.” Maybe you believe asking these sort of questions is too intrusive. If you feel shy or apprehensive to ask your clients for feedback, just understand one thing, you have competition. Your competitors may be asking their clients for feedback. And if your competitors are doing a great job of getting their clients to provide social proof that they are a reputable business, then it is safe to say that your competitors have the advantage over you.
FAMOUS BRANDS USE TESTIMONIALS TOO
Even famous brands and successful entrepreneurs use testimonials to promote their businesses. Tim Ferris uses testimonials to promote the Four Hour Work Week.
Even major companies use testimonials to promote their products and services. Square shows us a “proof of praise” with this customer testimonial about their service that also has data included. And we all know, numbers never lie.
HubSpot has a page on their website dedicated to their customer’s success via using their platform. It is quite impressive.
Prezi is a software company known for making presentations easy, compelling and eye catching. On their website, they have a page where they highlight their best customers. Their page is eye catching, just like their software.
It stands to reason that these well known brands are using testimonials to convince their prospects that they are worth taking a second look. The question is, why isn’t everyone using TESTIMONIALS aka SOCIAL PROOF to boost sales? The fact is, in this economy, you can’t afford not to use testimonials.
TESTIMONIALS REALLY DO VARY
Here are some other types of testimonials you can use to grow your business.
- Quote testimonials – direct quotes from clients
- Social Media testimonials – direct quotes from fans and followers
- Product Reviews – direct quotes from buyers
- Influencer Testimonials – direct quotes from popular people
- Blog Post reviews – rating/reviews from subscribers
- Internet radio show reviews – ratings/review from viewers
- Case Studies – outline of provider process and results
- Video Testimonials – direct quotes filmed on video
- Documentary Series Reviews – compilation of direct quotes filmed on video
- Media coverage – press received for your product or service
Some of the places you can share testimonials from your clients are listed below.
- Blog articles
- Video Case Studies
- Written Case Studies
- Your website’s Testimonials page
- Sales page
- Closing emails in your course launch
- Check-out page for your course or programs
- Social media
- Live events
- Email signature
- interviews when siting who you’ve worked with
- During speeches before giving your offer
After you have collected great testimonials, be certain to share them in public. It’s one thing if you tell all of your potential customers how great you are, but it’s a plus if other people do it. Testimonials allow your existing clients to brag about the transformation they experienced as a result of working with you or buying from you. After all, who doesn’t like to brag a little at times?
Nothing can ever take the place of customer testimonials. The ability to point to satisfied clients and customers is a very important part of business operations today. There is an old English Proverb that says, “any news is good news.” However, in today’s business climate, it helps when good news outweighs the bad news. And good testimonials is good news.
The fact is, the Internet has changed the game for businesses getting feedback from their customers. Your customers could easily go online and rate your business on Google or any social media platform without your consent. If your business happened to rack up a collection of less than favorable reviews and testimonials, it could hurt your brand. However, if you have a collection of positive testimonials and reviews on your website and your social media channels, it would position any negative testimonials or reviews as an isolated incident(s) rather than the norm.
The bottom-line is that word of mouth is the oldest form of advertising because people talk. People are going to talk about your business to their friends, family and network in general conversational ways. Why not manipulate their word of mouth assessment of your business to your advantage? It’s best to have a group of people that you trust to provide honest feedback about your company in a manner that you can use as your competitive edge while helping you to boost sales.
Which testimonial type resonates with you the most? Leave a comment below.
I would love to hear how you have used or want to use testimonials to grow your business.
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© 2020 All Rights Reserved Quality Media Consultant Group
This article was written by Lori A. Manns.
Author, Lori A. Manns is a multi award-winning marketing mentor, sales coach and trailblazing business strategist who works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them grow and scale their businesses. She specializes in sales and marketing strategies that result in her clients attracting their target market, gaining brand visibility and growing revenue. Lori is President of Quality Media Consultant Group, a consultancy firm specializing in media, advertising, marketing and sales. She is the founder of the Trailblazer Business Academy. where advancing entrepreneurs go to learn growth strategies and how to run a profitable business the soulful way. Lori is also the creator of the Sponsorship Sales Secrets System;™ which shows business owners how to get more corporate sponsors and sales for their business, guaranteed. To learn more about the work Lori does to help business owners and entrepreneurs all across the U.S. to accelerate their revenue and succeed in business, visit www.qualitymediaconsultants.com