We are all familiar with the better-known reasons why testimonials are good for your business: they give credibility, help your brand, guide undecided (potential) clients and help overcome objections, etc. Testimonials are the proof we need that the decision we are about to take is the right one.

But these reasons are one-sided: they are in function of your (potential) clients.

Considering testimonials only as a nudge to a potential customer that the decision he is about to take is the right one, or as the necessary ego-stroking, is being the thief of your own wallet, as football player Johan Cruyff would say.

When you ask the right questions, testimonials have additional benefits for your business:

  1. Testimonials are the most direct way to test if your business is still delivering on its promise. When you ask for feedback, clients will let you know where are you failing or which things have changed and not for the better. If you have been ignoring other signals, testimonials will take the blindfold off your eyes. And even better, you can ask this person for more insights so that you can improve things right away.
  2. Testimonials pinpoint to (new) business opportunities, without you needing to crack your brain. Have you heard about the collective knowledge? When you ask the right questions, testimonials are a way of tapping onto the wisdom, creativity and added value of other people’s ideas about how you can improve or develop products and services based on what you already have.
  3. Testimonials help to fine-tune what is your what. One of the biggest challenges we face as entrepreneurs is identifying and communicating our unique value. What is it that we do that makes us so darn unique?
    For a long time, I used to say that my thing was “simple marketing strategies”. But it was when I read in several feedback forms “you helped me to get unstuck” that I realized my superpower is well, marketing strategies to get entrepreneurs unstuck and move forward.

    Now that you understand that testimonials are as crucial to your business as clients, resources, etc. it’s time to stop considering them as nice to have, and know they are a must-have.

Be always prepared to ask for testimonials

Many business owners struggle with asking for testimonials. They feel embarrassed asking for them. This is the first hurdle to overcome!

As Lorrie Thomas Ross, author and marketer, puts it, “Asking for a testimonial is only awkward when the requesting party makes it awkward.”

The best way of removing the awkwardness is by setting up a system. When you incorporate getting testimonials as a part of your client journey, it will be easier for you to bring it forward and natural for your client to accept your invite of providing a testimonial.


Best moments to ask for a testimonial

  • The end of a project or milestone is a great time to ask for a testimonial. Setting up an exit-interview or sending an online survey is an easy, non-icky way to get your testimonial.
  • Make sure you follow up with those clients that didn’t return the survey, and of course, thank them for completing it!
  • In my 1:1 work with clients, I ask at the start of the session what is that they’d like to have achieved by the end of that day’s session, so a clear goal and expectation are set. Then, when wrapping up, I ask if the expectation has been met. Usually, with the answer come insights/compliments that I can use to evaluate the results I am delivering to my client.

Ask the right questions

To get valuable insights out of testimonials, you need to ask product/service-related questions, where you learn how your clients benefited from them.

You can do this by asking questions like:

  • What was the biggest challenge you were facing when you chose to hire me/ buy our product? (sketches the situation they are in a.k.a the problem you can solve)
  • Why did you choose to work with me/ buy our product? (reveals what makes you different from others)
  • Did you hesitate to buy/hire me? Why? (helps to explain an objection)
  • What’s the biggest benefit you’ve seen as a result of working with me/using our product? Or which specific aspects of the service or product were most useful to you. (Signals the real transformation, confirms you delivered on your promise, and they got the result they expected)

The above questions are the most critical questions for a good testimonial. Of course, you can also ask whether they would recommend you; whether they have anything to add; and whether there’s something you could improve.

Don’t be shy! Remember testimonials deliver you business!

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