Your client loved you. Luurrrved you! Working with you, the results they got. Oh happy day.
Then why is it so darn hard to get a testimonial from them? And, if you do get a testimonial, it’s of the blah-blah ‘John Smith is great. Recommend him highly.’ variety.
Great testimonials can make a huge difference for someone considering your offer. Blah testimonials, on the other hand, can drain the heart right out of it.
If they love you, why won’t they give you a great testimonial?
There are the obvious reasons: too busy, forgetful, etc.
But, that’s not why they won’t give you one. There is another reason, lurking underneath that, for most of your clients.
Testimonials are like public speaking.
The last time someone asked you to stand up by yourself in front of a bunch of strangers, how did you feel? Excited? Gung ho? Or ready to crawl into a closet?
Your clients, no matter how much they lurve you, may not be willing to write a speech, and then stand up all by their lonesome. But, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on testimonials.
Stand up with them.
To get great testimonials, you need to stand with your clients. That means get on the phone and interview them.
That’s right. If you’re spending 30 minutes cajoling, pleading, emailing and calling them, begging them to finally get that testimonial written, then why not spend 15 minutes interviewing them instead?
Ask them questions about their experience. Write down what they say, or record the conversation, and you’ll end up with much stronger testimonials.
But I’m not Barbara Walters.
Even if you’ve never interviewed anyone before, you can do it successfully. But, there are a few things you should know going in that will help make it easier for you. Keep reading…
Keys to Five-Star Testimonial Interviews
o Emotions and results before, during and after.
You want to ask specific questions about what was going on for them before, during, and after they used your product or service. And, ask about how they felt as well as concrete results.
Dig for the concrete results. I was interviewing a client who said she had ‘done better’ after one of my classes. Hmmm… ‘done better, what does that mean?’ After a few more questions on my part, she soon told me that her income had gone up ‘fifty percent.’
‘Fifty percent’ sounds a whole lot better than ‘done better.’ When your client says something vague, ask until you get the concrete numbers or results.
o Practice silence.
When you ask a question, your client will probably answer immediately. And then you ask another question. And then they answer immediately.
But, you’re missing the good stuff. Many times, that immediate answer was just off the top of their head. If you wait a few moments after their initial answer, sometimes they’ll continue and say something else.
In my experience, that ‘something else’ is really juicy.
The silence is also a good time for you to breathe. It’s not easy to hear someone gushing about you. If you are silent and allow yourself to receive with gratitude what they are saying, you may notice that it actually feels really good to your heart.
o Start with skepticism.
When someone is considering purchasing from you, they probably have some skepticism. If you can ask your gushing client of any doubts or fears they had before they purchased, it will make the testimonial much stronger.
The skepticism brings reality in, and helps to build trust. If all your testimonial does is gush good things, then the person considering purchasing won’t be able to relate to the gushing. But, they can relate to the skepticism.
So have both.
Pick a few of your best clients and customers, and ask to interview them for a testimonial. Not only is it great for your business, but it’s a great pick-me-up on a cloudy day.
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Mark Silver is the author of Unveiling the Heart of Your Business: How Money, Marketing and Sales can Deepen Your Heart, Heal the World, and Still Add to Your Bottom Line. He has helped hundreds of small business owners around the globe succeed in business without lousing their hearts. Get three free chapters of the book online: http://www.heartofbusiness.com
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