Everybody loves a great testimonial. There’s nothing quite like social proof to validate what you offer but how do you get one?
The standard business advice is to ask your customers for a testimonial and perhaps offer them an incentive for their time. If you offer real value to your customers and you have raving fans that shouldn’t be too hard right?!
Wrong! If you’ve ever been asked to give a testimonial for someone, you’ll know immediately why this isn't a good idea.
It’s a horrible feeling wondering what to say to help someone market their product or service. Most people want to help. They just don't know how. So, unless your customer is a seasoned marketer they’re either going to politely ignore your request or write something awkward and stilted that they think people want to hear rather than what they actually think. They deserve your gratitude, but this approach is unlikely to give you the right messaging and it’s a wasted opportunity because it doesn’t have to be that way.
Your customers are people. They love what you sell, and you’ve helped them solve some problem in their life. So, they’re more than likely happy to share their thoughts with you. Use that.
Arrange a time to have a relaxed conversation with them.
Let them know that you want to put together some testimonials to market your product or service. Explain to them that you understand that it can be really hard to give a testimonial, so instead all you want to do is have a very relaxed conversation with them about your product or service and how it helped them. Let them know that you want to record the conversation, so that you can play back what they said and use some of the conversation to create a testimonial. Make sure that they know that you will run anything you use past them before you use it.
If you can see them in person then do it in person. If you can’t then set up a meeting on Zoom.
Talk to them but more importantly listen to them.
If your product or service has helped someone with something in their life, then they’re going to be more than happy to chat to you about what that was. Ask them how they heard about you. Ask them about what challenges they were facing. Ask them about why they purchased from you. Ask them how your product or service helped them?
But more importantly listen to them. The more you actively listen to them the more they will talk to you. People like to feel heard. If you really listen and ask probing questions to go deeper, they will tell you everything you need to know. You’ll end up with far more than just testimonials. The conversation will become a gold mine of information that you can later use to make your product or service even better.
Transcribe the Interview.
After your chat, get your conversation transcribed and then listen to the conversation again. You’ll be amazed by the quality of the content that you have. They will have said things you could never have dreamed possible and would certainly never have written. Highlight all the useful pieces and then copy and paste them into a document. Structure them in the order that you want. You can even reword things to make it flow more easily. Once you have everything that you want to use, send it to your customer and ask them for their feedback. If there's anything that they want to change then let them.
And there you have it. The perfect written testimonial to market your product or service.
So, go out there and start getting them. Testimonials from raving fans are an amazing way to sell what you do. If you don't already have them then you should.