Testimonials: Powerful Words
Life would be much simpler — and sales would be effortless — if all new clients came from trusted referrals. But that’s not always possible, so written client testimonials are the next best thing. They are powerful tools that can open doors and close deals. They establish credibility and communicate results. We can wait a long time for even the most delighted clients to send us their written endorsements. And, if they do, they are often generic or not focused on our key messages. But you can change that when you facilitate the process yourself.
Here is an easy five-step process for securing powerful testimonials.
Before the Speaking Engagement
• To increase the effectiveness of your testimonials as a sales tool, pinpoint three key messages — such as your unique presentation style — and make sure each testimonial touches on at least one of those messages.
• Identify your client’s challenge or opportunity and their objectives for hiring you to speak. You might ask, “What would be a win for you?” or “What do you want your people to do better or differently after hearing me speak?”
• Let your client know you will follow up afterward for feedback.
• If appropriate, ask them to survey their participants after you speak. Offer to prepare those questions.
After the Speaking Engagement
• Schedule a time to talk by phone, giving your client enough time to gather feedback.
• Request a summary of the survey results.
During the Interview
• Ask open-ended questions like “What’s the one takeaway that will have the most impact?”, “How are your people putting these strategies into practice and what are the initial results?”, “How would you describe my speaking style?”, “How do I compare with other speakers?” and “What else would you say to someone considering hiring me to speak?”
• Use this time to also gather candid feedback for improvement, uncover other opportunities to speak and ask for referrals.
Craft the Quote
• Whenever possible, include the challenge (example: low morale) and the perceived results (example: more positive attitude).
• Use action verbs and descriptive, emotional words.
• Vary short and longer sentences, and limit it to about five sentences.
• Maintain the tone of the client so your quotes don’t sound like they are all from the same person.
• Use the client’s full name, title and organization in the attribution.
• Email the quote to your client, with your thanks, for their approval.
Promote the Quote
• On your website’s testimonial page, include a headshot (you can pull that from their LinkedIn profile) and/or company logo with the quote.
• Email the quote to your client, with your LinkedIn profile link, and ask them to copy and paste it as a recommendation.
• Add these quotes to your one-sheet, emails, proposals and social media sites.
By taking a proactive role in securing testimonials, you’ll attract new clients and deepen your relationship with your current clients.