I love testimonials – getting a good testimonial is the best thing ever, isn’t it?  It makes you feel so good when you get a lovely email saying “thank you- you’ve really helped me and everything makes sense now”!

The testimonials you collect from your customers work as an endorsement of your products or services.  Not only does it make you feel good but more importantly its a sign to potential customers that you are great at what you do and that you can solve their problems. 😀

Sharing the honest experiences of your past or existing customers can be a great way to provide tangible proof to your prospective clients that what you offer really works. Knowing how to ask for testimonials from clients is something that can really make your business stand out. It can help you turn a prospective customer into a paying customer – remember they need to know, like and trust you before they buy from you.

I have absolutely loved working with Emmie.  She created an incredibly thorough and helpful marketing plan. She has been an invaluable part of nourishing and growing our business model.  Annelie Whitfield, Founder, Ancient +Brave

Well-written testimonials convert visitors into paying customers

Think about the last time you booked a holiday.  Or even just a restaurant to go out for dinner. If you’re anything like me, you will have looked at plenty of reviews before deciding what to buy or where to go. I have decided against going somewhere purely based on people’s reviews.  It’s generally a pretty good sign of whether something is any good.  I remember that we had a knife sharpener come to our house to sharpen our kitchen knives.  He was amazing, and great value – he had (at the time of writing this) 383 5* reviews and ranking no 1 for Knife Sharpening London.  He said nearly all of his business came through Google searches and referrals.  These testimonials or Google Reviews are a great proof point that he is the best knife sharpener in London.  It wasn’t a very difficult decision to go with him.

Google Reviews

Of course, before people book an exercise class or a massage treatment or a session with you they will obviously do their research.  That is why I say to my clients it’s vital to get Google reviews and testimonials as that is proof that you are good at what you do.  Sorry not just ‘good’, I actually mean remarkable at what you do let’s hope they are mostly 5* reviews!  Good is expected, in-fact very good is expected – that is what people expect when they are paying.  Remarkable is what you need to be.  Way more than very good!  Read Seth Godin’s book ‘The Purple Cow’ about being Remarkable.

Testimonials on Your Website

People like to get referrals or recommendations from friends.  They will also go online and look for ‘social proof’.  In other words, they’ll find out what others have to say about a business before they buy. You need to be sharing well-written testimonials on your website.  This is a great opportunity to convince prospective customers that you are ace/remarkable/ fantastic. You can also ask people to endorse you on LinkedIn, Google reviews,  or Facebook reviews – wherever your customers might be searching for you.

How do you get a good testimonial?

So how will you get good testimonials that are genuine and honest but are also crafted in such a way that can really work wonders for you and your business? As a starting point, here is what you want your testimonials to do.

  • Provide reassurance to your prospective customers that what you offer works.  That it addresses their pain points and solves their problems.
  • Address any concerns or doubts that potential clients might have about the product or service you are selling (which may be stopping them from buying from you).
  • Show that you can help people achieve tangible results.   People love stats to show that what you are selling genuinely works (you know the before and after photos, that kind of thing)

Provide tangible proof

Say you (Anna) are an Osteopath with your own private practice. Two of your customers (A and B) have left you a review. Which one do you think would be more effective at convincing a prospective client to book a consultation with you?

Customer A.

“Anna is professional and friendly. The studio is easily-accessible and quiet, and the prices are quite reasonable. Would definitely recommend.”

Customer B.

“Before I started working with Anna, I used to suffer from lower back pain and frequent headaches. I had tried various professionals and therapies, but nothing seemed to work. The pain had started to affect my lifestyle and my mood, and I didn’t know what else to do. I’ve now been working with Anna for 6 months, and she has helped me turn my life around! My back pain has disappeared, and as a result, I’m able to sleep better and be more active during the day. I feel much happier and like I’m back to my older self. I’m so glad I made the decision to work with Anna. If you’re in a similar situation, I’d definitely recommend you book a consultation with her.”

Use result-based testimonials

While Customer A provides some useful factual information, which one do you think sells Anna’s services better? Let’s be honest. Anyone landing on your website should expect, as the bare minimum, that you are friendly and professional. But Customer B is conveying a real sense of having gone through a transformation from working with you.   Clearly, you didn’t just help your client on a physical level, but on an emotional level too. You definitely went beyond being professional and friendly. Working with you was literally life-changing for Customer B. I hope I provide that same level of service to my clients!

Of course, your potential customers want to know that you are going to be approachable, professional, knowledgeable, and experienced. But that should be a given. What they really care about is what they will get out of working with you. Will they be able to achieve the results they’re after? Show them that they will, and your testimonial becomes a tool that has the potential to convert leads into paying customers.

Show the before and after

An easy way to make your testimonials show a transformation is to talk about the ‘before and after’ – what life looked like before and after using your product or service. So if you’re a massage therapist think about how to show potential customers the transformation of clients from BEFORE (stressed, tense, and close to burnout) to AFTER (feeling pampered, relaxed, and more in control). Your testimonials should convey the pain, the struggle, or the problem that the customer was experiencing before working with you. And don’t forget to show how they feel now, AFTER working with you.

Use tangible measures

Wherever you can, ask your clients to help you quantify the transformation – use tangible measures and stats wherever you can. You want to be able to say things like:

  • Losing 10kg in 6 months.
  • Getting one more hour of undisturbed sleep every night.
  • Being able to run for 10 extra minutes at each running session.
  • Being able to meditate every day for 20 minutes.

You get the gist of this. When your prospective clients see that real people, just like them, with similar problems or needs, achieved some amazing results, they are more likely to want to become your customer. Never miss an opportunity to show how your products or services delivered a transformation, took someone on a journey, or solved a problem.

 

Address any concerns or worries

How many times have you looked at a product or service that you’re considering buying but hesitated because you’re not sure it’ll actually work? Often this concern has nothing to do with the product or service or with the company selling it. Instead, it has everything to do with how we feel about ourselves.

Let’s say your friend Elaine tells you that she’s worked with a great local Nutritionist called Jenny. Elaine lost 5kg in a few months and looks and feels amazing. She’s keen for you to get in touch with Jenny so you can also improve your diet like you’ve been wanting to for months. You’re grateful for the recommendation, but deep down, you don’t feel one bit like Elaine. She’s sporty, consistent, motivated, and her children are much older than yours, so you know she has more free time than you.

Jenny is clearly very good but what if it doesn’t work out for you?  Let’s say you decide to check out Jenny’s website. And you find this testimonial.

Example Testimonial that addresses these concerns

“For years, I had wanted to work with a Nutritionist to lose my post-pregnancy weight, but I don’t like exercising or going to the gym and can never seem to stick to diets. Plus, my children are still so young and life is always so busy! I didn’t think that investing the money was going to make any difference! It just seemed too hard and a pointless thing to do. But working with Jenny changed all this. Thanks to her pragmatic and practical approach that works for mums who ‘live in the real world’.  I didn’t just lose the weight I wanted to lose, but I also managed to find a different way of eating and exercising that fits around my lifestyle and works perfectly with my family. And as a result, I feel on top of the world!”

Wouldn’t you now feel more reassured that Jenny was actually going to be able to help you achieve your objectives?

For me I always want to know how long something is going to take, or whether it will hurt (!), or how much it’s going to cost from start to finish.  Will I need a year’s worth of laser hair removal to actually see results is a question that I regularly ask myself (as well as will it hurt!!)? Think about the concerns that your customers might have.  What might be making them anxious about purchasing from you, and then publish the relevant testimonials.

Ask your clients the right questions

So how exactly do you get your existing clients to give you result-based testimonials that show the ‘before and after’ and address any concerns people may have before working with you? Short of sharing this blog post with them, you just need to ask them the right questions to elicit the answers you need. You can do this by asking them to jump on a quick video or phone call with you (which is something I’d recommend) or send them a few questions via email or a quick form or questionnaire if you prefer.

So what kind of questions do you ask them? Start with these:

  • What problems were you experiencing before you worked with me or bought my services? What were you struggling with? And how did that make you feel?
  • Did you have any concerns that stopped you from buying from me before? What were they and what put your mind at rest and helped you make a decision to invest?
  • What problems did I (or my products) solve for you? And what tangible results did my product or service deliver for you?

Writing a testimonial

Once you have the information, you can write the testimonials yourself. Always ask your client to double check and ‘approve’ what you’ve written before you go public with it though. You wouldn’t want to share something that your clients aren’t happy with, would you? So ask the right questions, get the insight you need, and create testimonials that are honest reflections of your customer’s feelings and experiences of working with you. And don’t forget, the testimonials have to work for you and your business!

And if your client is up for it, why not ask them to create a video testimonial for you that includes some of the points I covered in this blog post?

What to do with these testimonials

Try and put a testimonial on every page of your website somewhere, especially on the purchasing page.  I include testimonials in all my proposals and marketing assets.  Make sure that you include the relevant testimonial for that product/service/ audience.  I often tell clients to put testimonials in a spreadsheet organised by topic/ category so that they are easy to find when you need them.

Would you like some help? 

Having well-written, powerful testimonials that showcase the transformation you deliver to your clients can make a great difference to the percentage of leads you convert and the number of sales you make. Focus on showing your prospective customers how you’ve healed someone’s pain (literally), solved a problem, or helped them get results.

If you’d like some help in clarifying who your ideal clients are and how to articulate what you sell in a way that speaks to them, get in touch and let’s discuss how I might be able to help with your marketing strategy. And if you are wondering whether I am the right person to help you with your marketing plan check out my Google reviews