How to get great testimonials to use in your marketing

Testimonials are a well known tool for marketing products and services, for good reason – They work!

I recently attended a webinar on internet marketing, as I do from time to time to pick up any new ideas or practices that I can transfer to marketing real world businesses. One of the presenters got me thinking about testimonials.

The presenter of the webinar pointed out the extraordinary lengths that infomercials go to get the testimonials they need to sell their products – They:

  1. Go out onto the street to video the public
  2. Pay celebrities for their endorsement
  3. Do “live” demonstrations with volunteers
  4. Show amazing results from previous clients/guinea pigs

Now I know that we all watch the infomercials thinking, “yeah right, sure he got his 8 pack abs from ONLY using their face cream for 30 seconds per day”. But at the end of the show we’re all ready to pick up the phone for a 14 day trial.

Testimonials just work!

Testimonials are the next best thing to a personal referral. Someone standing up and saying ” I know you are nervous about using this product, but I did and it worked great for me” gives a sense of security, it removes some of the perceived risk of making a purchase.

If testimonials are such a great tool, why don’t businesses use them to their full advantage?

I encourage all of the businesses I build websites for to gather some testimonials for the site, and without exception, they are always the last content that I get supplied, if at all.

People are scared to ask for testimonials, and particularly here in New Zealand I am sure people are worried that asking for a testimonial is somehow reducing their authenticity.

How do you get testimonials?

How often do you follow up with your clients to check they are satisfied with your service? This is a golden opportunity and should be a part of your customer service process. Whether you do this in person, via email or thank you letter, always ask for feedback.

When talking to a client or customer and they mention that they you gave them great service, or that they loved your products, just ask “do you mind if I use this as a testimonial” all they can do is say no, but I bet a lot are happy to help.

Make it easy for them to give you a glowing testimonial

Avoid wasting an opportunity to get an inspiring testimonial, by helping your client give you the information you want. Ask the right questions to get the answers you want. Try these out to start with:

  1. What was the number one reason that helped you decide to purchase our product or service?
  2. Was there any reason you considered NOT using our product or service? What overcame this?
  3. How specifically did our product or service help you?
  4. Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague? If yes, why?
  5. Do you have any other comments on our product or service?

These questions will get you some specific, informative testimonials, as well as help you understand why your clients buy your product or service (and why others don’t).

Now go and get some testimonials, and if you are really keen, you can always get out on the street with some product samples and a video camera!

About Al

Alistair has managed and built small businesses in a varied industries from agriculture to the web. Years in sales lead to his obsession with marketing.
In his spare time he enjoys time with his family, sails and reads marketing books.
Get more from Alistair on Twitter and Google+.

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