Some people just don’t believe you.
It’s a fact.
You spend all of this time making a strong and believable promise about your product or service and it may fall flat. But there’s something powerful you can do to reassure your prospects: show more customer testimonials.
It’s one of the best ways to show that your company is awesome. Customer testimonials demonstrate that other people have enjoyed the experience of giving you money and receiving what it is that you have to offer. There really couldn’t be a stronger way to prove your value.
But what should customer testimonials say, and how do you ask for them?
I hear these questions all the time. I’ll walk you through my step-by-step process of asking for and receiving customer testimonials, so you can do it too and start winning more business.
An Influential Testimonial Should Contain…
Good customer testimonials have two main elements. It directly addresses objections that you commonly receive, and it feels honest and personal like a came from a real person. By that I mean it’s written in conversational language. You should also include the person’s full name, title and ideally a picture if they’re willing to let you use it. Adding a picture creates maximum impact.
Let’s talk about objections for a second. No matter what you’re selling, there are a few main reasons why people hesitate to buy or decide not to buy from you. Often this comes down to price, value and timing.
You should have a list of objections that you commonly receive plus a way to answer each of them for you or for your sales team. Go down this list of objections any time you ask for a testimonial and figure out which ones are the most powerful and which ones your testimonial target can answer.
Choose no more than three objections that you want the testimonial to meet, and you’re ready to move on to the ask.
How to Ask for Customer Testimonials
Before I jump into how to ask for customer testimonials, you’re probably wondering who to ask.
A healthy bit of intuition helps here.
On the one hand, you need to start becoming more comfortable asking people to give you testimonials and, overall, to help your business. If you’re not willing to do that you will not be able to grow your business.
On the other hand, if you’ve had a negative experience with someone and you’re hesitating to ask them for a testimonial…your hesitation is probably warranted.
So ask people who:
- You know for sure have had a world-class experience
- You have good rapport with
- Have recently bought or worked with you
You’ll want to build this into your process in the future but for now just make a list of a few people and start asking.
And a quick side note: tell the person how you plan to use the testimonial. If you’re going to use it on your website with their picture and name, be sure to tell them. There’s nothing like an unwelcome surprise to ruin all your hard work.
Now for the ask.
When you ask for a testimonial, always put the person you’re asking in a position to help you. They are much more likely to take the time necessary to actually write a testimonial when you do.
But I have a little secret for you: they don’t actually have to write a testimonial themselves.
I ask for customer testimonials over email and every time I ask there are 3 things I do:
- Put the person in a position to help me and grow my business
- Supply them up to 3 objections that I want them to meet
- Write a demo testimonial so they don’t have to start from scratch
Each step is important but Step #3 is by far the most crucial. If you only want to listen to one thing I say in this whole blog post, it’s this: offer to write a testimonial for every person you ask. That’s because writing is difficult and people are extremely busy.
Make it drop dead simple for people to help you.
I break the process into two steps. First, I ask if they’re willing to write a testimonial. Second, I send them the objections and sample testimonial. Once they agree, I give them the objections and a sample testimonial.
When you write the example testimonial, it should be the ideal testimonial you want from the person you’re asking. Don’t be afraid to go big here. At the same time, don’t write things that you know for sure your customer will disagree with. This is your chance to get the perfect testimonial.
Receiving the Testimonial
Remember that part about people being really busy?
It still applies.
That means some people are just not responding to you. You may have to follow-up once, twice or even five times to get the testimonial. That’s okay.
Once they get back to you, make sure it’s easy to read and the grammar is correct. Often they’ll even tell you to edit it.
Then I showed him how it would display on my site:
Once you have the final version, be sure to thank the person! This may fall under the exceedingly obvious category, but it’s worth saying. You asked for someone’s help, they’ve helped you and it’s time to a knowledge that you appreciate it.
Now get that customer testimonials live on your website or in your marketing collateral and think about the next one.
And one more thing…
If you need a huge volume of customer testimonials or reviews, you need to automate that process. I automate my entire process with my CRM and you can do the same.
You’re unlikely to get as many customer testimonials this way, but you’re 100% guaranteed to ask everybody who might write one. I’ll take that trade-off.
Now a question for you:
Now that you know how to ask for a testimonial, are you going to do it? How might it impact your business?
Let me know in the comments below. I read every single one and answer them myself.