For those moments when you’re thinking, “I need new business –- and quick!”

Let your clients sell you! 29 March 2007

I love it when I get to use real-life client testimonials in the copy I write for my clients. Nine times out of ten, they will outsell any fact, any other ‘proof’ factor or, indeed, hype.

There really is no more effective sales element than the words of an existing customer. As well as boosting your sales, good, believable testimonials can bolster your credibility.

The thing is, most testimonials are either just not convincing or very boring indeed. These generally have the opposite effect of good, credible testimonials – ie, they actually destroy your sales message and your integrity.

So how do you make sure you get great client testimonials and, more to the point, how do you get them in the first place?

Great questions, if I might say so myself!

Here are five ways to get testimonials:

1. The first is the most straightforward: make sure you deliver on your promises. So if you’ve sold a product that claims to protect your skin from burning in the sun, make sure it has been tested and proven to do so. If you’ve sold an editing service and the client needed the finished job within four weeks, don’t go beyond the deadline… That kind of thing.

Most customers will write to you if they are ecstatic with the product or service supplied.

2. Another option is to ask them whether they were happy with their purchase and, if so, whether they would write a brief note about their experience.

3. If your clients say they’d be happy to help out, but they’re too busy, perhaps you could offer to write a few words on their behalf. Once they see what you’ve written, they will either approve it as it is, or tweak it so that their expression and experience are more accurately reflected.

4. Similar to the above method, but instead outsource the writing part to a professional copywriter, who should be able to pen a killer testimonial in no time. Often, they will interview your happy clients at no extra cost.

5. Finally, you can try endorsements – these are simply a kind of testimonial from someone famous or recognised as an authority in their field. Often, all that’s needed is for you to send an industry leader a sample of your product and ask them to provide feedback in return. People love to feel important, and to offer their opinion, so it’s worth a try.

Back to the question of how to get decent testimonials

You need to make sure they are short, specific, compelling and have a ‘signature’ – that is, a real name, with preferably the title or position they hold, the company they work for or own, and their contact details. It doesn’t have to be everything, but some form of identification will certainly help with regards the credibility factor.

Finally, be sure to get permission from the testimonial-giver to use their words for your marketing/promotion purposes.

Testimonials form some of the most low-cost, high-impact ways to gain new business. So use them!

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley


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