Very few of us like to talk about how great we are at what we do. After all, most of us were taught that it is braggadocios to talk about ourselves in that way. It is one of the biggest issues my clients struggle with – how do I talk about myself on my website and in my marketing so that it establishes my credibility without sounding arrogant? That is where testimonials come in. Testimonials are one of the best ways to highlight the amazing work you do with your clients. It gives your clients an opportunity to talk about the impact you’ve made with them and the results that you have had on their lives/business/work/health/relationships. And prospective clients can get real life examples of the great work that you do without you having to brag! What’s more, satisfied clients are almost always happy to provide you a testimonial if you ask them. That’s right, most of the time you have to ask. Unless your clients are entrepreneurs themselves, they rarely offer to give you a testimonial without you first asking them if they would be willing to give you one. But don’t worry, I’ll make it easy for you! Here’s some language you can use to ask someone for a powerful testimonial:
“[insert name here], I have so enjoyed working with you and it really feels like you are having some major breakthroughs with our work together. Would you be willing to share what you’ve gotten out of working with me (or what you are getting from working with me so far) in a testimonial?” (When they say yes…) “I can make it really easy for you by providing you with a template and some questions to guide you and then I can put together a succinct testimonial from your answers, using your words, and send it to you for your approval. Would that work for you?”
When possible, you want to get a full name and picture of your client (so your prospects know you didn’t just make these testimonials up!), so you’ll want to make sure you ask them about that, as well. And if you work with businesses, offer to put a link to their website which will give them some added benefit to being featured as a testimonial.
Here is a 3 step template that you can give to your clients to help them articulate the difference your work has made on their life:
- Before working with [insert your name here] I struggled with…
- In working with her I discovered…
- After working with her…
You may also want to provide them with some additional questions to answer, such as “what was the biggest thing you got out of working with me?” or “How many new clients did you get as a result of our work together?”. You want to ask questions that pertain to the particular work that you do and some tangible answers around the results that your work produces. As an example, if you are someone that helps with Weight Loss, you might ask how much weight they lost as a result of your work together.
Once they fill out the template and return it to you, you can take the pieces that really stand out to you and create a testimonial by weaving together their language and words into something shorter and powerful. Be sure to send it back to them for their approval to make sure they feel that your edits are an authentic expression of what they want to share.
As a practice, I ask all my clients to do a testimonial after our initial coaching program is complete – even if they sign on to continue with me. If your clients are getting major breakthroughs, and you need more testimonials now, you can certainly ask them for a testimonial before your initial program/package is complete and ask them to highlight the breakthroughs they’ve already had. You can offer to have them augment or change their testimonial once your program or package is complete.
And what if a client says “no?” – it is an opportunity to open up a dialogue to make sure they feel they are getting or have gotten great value from your work. Sometimes people are simply private, but if there is a problem and they aren’t happy with their results, you want to know so you can try to make it up to them, as well as get feedback on how you could improve the client experience going forward.
So this was the quick and dirty on how to capture a powerful testimonial. I hope that it was helpful! And as always, i would love to hear your comments, ideas and feedback!