How To Get Better Client Testimonials
When you’re looking for a new restaurant to try what do you do? If you’re like me, you ask friends for a recommendation, or maybe you go on Yelp or Tripadvisor to see what people have said.
You trust the opinion and experiences of others more than just a company’s advertising.
Your potential clients are looking for the same kind of recommendations when they’re considering working with you!
With all the fancy marketing strategies out there, rave reviews from people who’ve worked with you is one of your most effective sales tools.
Client testimonials provide the “social proof” you need to backup everything you say on your website or sales pages. A good testimonial builds trust and excitement, and lets a stranger know your track record for helping clients achieve results. It shows them that you’re the real deal!
More than that, social proof eases people’s concerns about signing up for one of your programs. It can help move them from being “on the fence” to becoming a client or participant.
What Makes A Good Testimonial?
Not all testimonials are made equal. Any positive praise about you and your programs can make you more likable to new website visitors, but a GREAT testimonial will do so much more than that.
In order for your testimonials to really do the selling for you, they need to do two things:
1. Generate excitement in the reader (by using punctuation and excited success phrases like “I’m thrilled!” or “I can’t believe how good I feel when I wake up!”)
2. Tell a story and include real, tangible results (by using numbers and emotions to describe the before and after).
You don’t simply want testimonials that say how wonderful you are (though it certainly feels good to get that feedback). You want testimonials that share tangible results.
The more concrete your client testimonials are, the more readers are going to relate to them and get excited about the prospect of achieving those same results.
Example of a so-so testimonial that likely won’t help you make more sales:
“I loved working with Amy. She is kind and a great listener. I loved my sessions with her. She turned me on to green smoothies and quinoa.”
Example of powerful testimonial that will help move people “off the fence”:
“Before working with Amy, I was at my wits end. I had been struggling with my weight for several years and I was beyond frustrated. My clothes didn’t fit and I hated clothes shopping because it was next to impossible to find anything that looked good on me.
When I first learned about Amy, I was a bit hesitant. I’d already tried so many diets and exercise plans over the years that didn’t work for me or made me miserable. I worried that Amy’s program would be the same…
But something about Amy’s approach felt different to me, so I decided to take the plunge! And boy am I glad I did!
I lost 18 pounds in 4 months. For the first time in 16 years, I’m wearing size 8 and loving my food! I’m also happier, more confident, and have more energy than I’ve ever had before.
Amy’s program WORKS and I can’t recommend her highly enough!”
Do you see how the second testimonial includes real results and tells the story of the client? Sharing her before and after is much more emotional and relatable for other people experiencing the same issues and looking for a solution.
What are the Best Ways to Get Testimonials?
There are several ways to get great social proof from your clients that you can use on your sales pages and throughout your website.
1. Create a feedback form
Using a service like SurveyMonkey, you can create a simple feedback form to send to your clients once they’ve finished working with you. The form should ask pointed questions about their experience working with you and the results they achieved.
2. Social media
If your clients ever rave about you on Facebook or Twitter, just take a screenshot! Be sure to ask if they would mind you posting it on your site.
3. Just ask
The method is very straightforward – just ask! Send an email to a client asking if they would write a testimonial for you. Or, ask them at the end of a coaching call if the timing feels right. Be specific about the kinds of things you’re looking for so they give you something rock solid.
4. Offer to draft one
Chances are that you and your client are discussing progress and results in your email communication and coaching calls, so why not use it!? Take notes while on the phone or grab key phrases from your emails and create a summarized testimonial for them to approve. Like all of us, your clients are busy. Drafting a testimonial for them makes it easy for them (they’ll love this!) and insures that it gets done!
Turning Testimonials Into Sales Page Gold
One of the biggest mistakes I see coaches make with their testimonials is that they use them exactly as their client sent them. Unless your client is a wordsmith, this tactic usually leaves your testimonials feeling a little flat.
If you want your testimonials to pop, you have to doctor them a bit.
Once you have your testimonials collected, it’s time to jazz them up with a bit of editing magic.
As I said earlier, your testimonials should tell a story and elicit emotion from the reader. You know the struggles that your client overcame, the results they achieved, and the joy and ease they’re feeling in their life now. Put this all together for a success story that makes a reader feel like they can’t spend another minute without you!
In many cases, you may need more information from your client in order to fully share their “before and after” story. Don’t be shy about emailing them follow-up questions or scheduling a short call with them to discuss their experience. This is one of the BEST ways to generate powerful testimonials.
It’s also a good idea to create a couple of short and punchy testimonials that sell you in a couple of sentences, like this…
“I lost 18 pounds in 4 months. For the first time in 16 years, I’m wearing size 8 and loving my food! I’m also happier, more confident, and have more energy than I’ve ever had before.”
These short testimonials can be used in your sales pages to have some variety, and you can also use these in promotional emails, other areas of your website, and on social media.
Lastly, be sure to review the edits you’ve made with your client before you publish anything. Send a quick email stating you’ve made a few changes to their testimonial and ask for their permission to use it on your site. Don’t forget to ask if you can use their photo, too.
Now that you have rock solid client success stories, start placing them throughout your website and sales pages to build social proof and even more trust with your audience!
Now I’d love to hear from you!
What strategies have worked well for you to collect testimonials? What new strategy would you like to try?