People Are Talking About You: How To Get Great Testimonials
Other people are talking about you…
No, I’m not talking about gossip (I’m not a fan of that).
But your professional career has a lot to do with your reputation and what others say about you. You can use this to your advantage…
In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini talks about a principle he calls Social Proof.
This is essentially the idea that other people talking about how good you are is a lot more convincing than you talking about yourself.
It’s like seeing an ad on TV for a show, vs. your best friend saying “YOU MUST WATCH BREAKING BAD… NOW!!!!”
People today trust other people more than they do advertisements.
Even if they don’t know the person recommending the person/product/service. That’s why sites like Yelp have taken off.
Also take a look at an item on Amazon. The page has a star rating at the top, then editorial reviews, then user reviews. Social proof is everywhere… because it works.
Want to incorporate this powerful principle to your marketing?
Add reviews or testimonials to your website
This kind of social proof adds a level trust to your site that you can’t get just with your own text. I would recommend that every person and business treat this as an essential element for your website.
If you’re an artist, you can often find reviews of your work in newspapers, blogs, and elsewhere. It’s not just for your mother to print out and paste on the fridge… this can actually help you get more work! If you provide products or services, you can get testimonials from customers or clients.
Even better than having a testimonial, is having a GREAT testimonial…
Formula for how to get a great testimonial
A) Email your customer/client thanking them for purchasing your product or service. Ask them if they’re willing to give you feedback by answering these 4 questions:
- What hesitation, if any, did you have before choosing to work with me/purchse?
- What ultimately made you decide to buy?
- What specific benefit did you get from this product/service?
- Who would you recommend it to?
(Edit the questions so that they match your offering exactly, so you get very specific answers)
B) Edit the answers together so they make sense as a standalone paragraph.
C) Thank them for giving you the feedback. Send them back this paragraph asking if you can use it as a testimonial on your site.
That’s how to get it done!
Extra effective testimonials
You can boost the trust factor by showing that your testimonials are from real people. You can do that by adding any (or all) of the following:
- Customer’s name. First name at a minimum. First name, last initial is ok. First & last name is best.
- A picture. A small image of their face also helps show that this is a real person!
- Location. If you have a company that services clients in many different areas (ie. roofing, carpet cleaning), it may be helpful to show that you’ve served someone from that area.
- Title/Occupation. Show that you’ve served the industries you say you do. Seeing a testimonial from an attorney will show others that you can actually help them.
Of course, be sure to get permission from your past customer or client to include all this info.
Some will, some won’t. Just focus on collecting as many testimonials as you can your best — and most complete — ones first.
Got any questions about how to use these testimonials for your business? Leave a comment below.
Photo: Gossip by Kamtar Adl